My hair is my blessing and my curse.
It’s black, it’s thick, it’s wavy, it’s beautiful and I love it. But it’s also grows very fast. Usually it starts looking messy three weeks after my last haircut and in Netherlands, it can be a problem. Why? Because haircut in Netherlands is a little steep (at least for me). Your option would be between street corner barber, which cost about €10 up until Toni&Guy salon, that will cost you €58, for the standard stylist and not including extra services, tax, etc.
Thankfully near my campus there’s ROC Mondriaan school. It’s a vocational school that will teach you real life skill such as how to be a receptionist, barber, barista, hotelier, etc. They have businesses that doubles as some sort of classroom. They have fitness center, café, hair salon and others (You know where this is going right ?)
I checked their website and look at their price list on their hair salon and haircut is only going to cost you €8.5. The cheapest I can find in The Hague. Without further ado, I go there.
Their place looks expensive, with better equipment than your usual franchise hair salon in Jakarta.
I went to the receptionist (whom I didn’t realize were also a student) and asked to get a haircut but she looks confused. She went to call her friend and then I realize she doesn’t speak English. Then I talked to this new girl about my intention and the she told me to wait on a nice comfy chair and asked me if I want some coffee or tea (wow!)
My hairstylist is a first year student, who doesn’t speak english and this was her first time cutting someone’s hair. Lucky me.
She was accompanied by a male teacher, and thankfully, he did most of the work. When she was cutting, it was awful. She wasn’t even sure how to position her finger and her scissor correctly. She cut awkwardly. To tell her not to cut my hair too short, I need a translator. Such an experience. But I’m happy with the end results. It’s not a radical or experimental haircut, just some trimming on the side and the back.
I got a nice little surprise when I’m about to pay. Turns out there’s a 50% discount for the month of September, so I only paid €4.25 (When I went to class that day, a friend from Korea also cut his hair and he paid €20. When I tell him how much I paid, he said “Whaaa.. ??”)
Anyway, this is the result.
A picture taken in 2013 must have frames and instagram-effect. Sorry not sorry.
There are several important cards (or as the Dutch call it, “kaart”) you need to survive in Netherlands (especially in Big Cities).
Openbaar Vervoer chipkaart (Public Transportation chip card) is the ultimate card to travel in Netherlands. You use this card to pay for buses, trams, metros and trains (basically every public transportation available here). You can also pay with cash, but it’s a lot more expensive. For example, going to city center with OV-chipkaart cost like €1.4, with cash it’s €3. So you better get one of this if you plan to travel a lot inside NL. The card itself cost €7.5 (with €0 balance).
A Debit card. This one is from ING Bank, one of three biggest bank in NL, others being ABN Amro and Rabobank. The difference with Indonesia is, even though cash is still widely used here, the most common use of payment is with this card. In Supermarket, shop, etc, when you are about to pay for things, the cashier will tell you the amount you need to pay and then you put your card in the machine (you do it yourself) and press your PIN number. This is why it’s also called PINcard.
Talking about bank, you are free to draw money from other banks ATM, with a restriction only once a day and maximum amount of €250.
3. Insurance Card
You HAVE to have an insurance if you plan to live in NL (for traveling it’s not necessary). This one is from IPS. In NL you don’t go to hospital every time you got sick (unless for emergency), you have to go to one of doctor clinic first and then they will decide whether just to give you medicine or refer you to a hospital.
4. Student Card
Or as I’d like to call it, a Discount Card. With this card you can get discounts in many places. Gym membership cost around €50/month, with this card you can get it for €35. Movies cost about €10, with this card it’s only €8. And so on..
Btw, bringing your ID is mandatory is NL. You need to bring this and your passport with you all the times. It’s very rare that an officer checking your ID but you’ll never know. You can get fined. In fact, Dutch police fine you for every little thing. Didn’t bring an ID, PAY. Crossing the street when the light is still red, PAY. Taking out your trash in the wrong day, PAY (They have calendars for when you can throw out your big trash like electronic or furniture)
5. Laundry Card
I’m so excited about this cos I’ve only seen it the movie, LOL. Apartment building usually have laundry machine that you pay with this card. You can top up the amount with Paypal or Credit Card. The cost is €2.5 for washing machine and €2 for dryer machine for one time use. You have to provide your own detergent and softener. You can check the status of the machine online and you can even reserve a spot there.
Other cards you might get interested in :
Dutch people love museums! There are more than 400 museums in this country (or so I’ve been told) and you can get free entry to almost all of them with this card. The card cost €50 which sounds expensive but the entry fee to Dutch museum is quite hefty (usually €10 or more) so if you love arts this is totally worth it.
7. Pathé Unlimited Card
Pathé is the name of biggest movie theater chain in NL. It’s a French company. A movie ticket cost €10 per person and €8 for student. With this card, cost €19/month, you can watch as many movies as you want between 10:00-18:00 everyday. They also have Pathé Unlimited Gold, €26/month that will also give you access to unlimited 3D and IMAX movies.
But I don’t know, there’s a lot of more interesting to do here in NL other than movies so I haven’t been inclined to buy the cards.
Today I arrived in Amsterdam Schipol Airport, to begin my one-year journey for master program in The Hague University of Applied Sciences (De Haagse Hogeschool).
Interesting thing I observe today :
1. Contrary to my presumption about caucasian, Dutch people are very nice, especially the older generation.
2. Food is so expensive. Burger King’s Whopper with fries and soft drink is Eur 7.50/kg, rice is Eur 1.75 /kg, a canned Sprite is also Eur 1.75/can.
3. The city’s so quiet. I live in Den Haag, the third biggest city in Netherlands yet everything looks super empty. Granted, I’m in suburbs and it’s not really rush hour, but I don’t know, the whole city really could pass as some Zombie town.
4. The cars and motorcycles always let pedestrians crosses the street first, you don’t even have to try to stop them. They’ll stop whenever they see you on a zebra-cross.
5. Almost every shop is closed on 6.00 PM. Including fast food chain restaurant like McDonald’s ( I don’t know about if the same applies in Amsterdam tho..). Restaurant, Bars, etc still open till around 22.00 or midnight.
6. You have to bring your own bag for shopping at supermarket AND you have to make a deposit just to get a trolley (probably to make sure it’s safely returned)
7. Indonesia and Netherlands have the exact same electrical outlet. So your gadget will work right away when you’re traveling here.
8. You can drink the water straight from the tap.
9. Usually room for bathroom and WC are separated.
10. At this time of the year (August 30th), the sun sets at around 21.00.. The temperature is around 19 degrees (Probably like Puncak)
(My apartment building, Waldorpstraat 47)
All in all, it’s been a fun first day.
So, I know a guy, barely know him actually, he’s almost 30 and has been single for his whole life. In many occasion, he always wonder about that. Always ask, rhetorically, “Dear God, Why am I still single ?”
I don’t know him very well, but I feel like I know why he’s single. He’s a very bitter person, a drama queen (king ?) and full of negative energy. It’s like he’s surrounded with unhappiness. The problem is, no one bothered to tell him what is wrong with him, not even his friends (again, as far as I can tell. I don’t really know him).
PS: I don’t tell him because I don’t think he will take criticism from someone he barely knows very well.
I’ve seen many cases like this. Someone stuck, falling behind, because his friends don’t have the gut to tell him “the right thing”. They usually hide behind common wisdom, “True friends accept you for who you are”. They’re afraid to hurt his feeling. Well people, you think you’re a nice friend but you’re WRONG. You should save your friend from making mistakes.
Don’t do it to your friend. If he’s too shy, tell him go out. If he’s too fat, persuade him to diet. Make him a better person, okay ?
* The studio and director Bryan Singer actually had given explanations for two things : Unlike the comic book, in the film universe, Havok and Cyclops is not related and Emma in X-Men Origins : Wolverine and X-Men : First Class are two different Emmas with same ability. Lame excuse ? Yeah, it is.
* I heard the next X-Men movie will be a sequel to First Class and will involve time travel. I hope they don’t ruin the franchise even further, like what happened to Resident Evil films. That movie is a wreck, story wise.
Buying movie ticket for Gandaria XXI IMAX is a battle of life and death. It made you realize the length Jakartans will go to embrace their hedonism. You either start queuing at 10 AM sharp or buy your ticket via M-tix
Thank God, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to own BII saving account to reload your M-tix account. you CAN reload your M-tix from every bank connected to:
- ATM Bersama (practically every bank in Indonesia except BCA)
- Prima (BCA, and many other bank, minus BNI and regional banks)
Go to your ATM, access the Transfer menu, to other bank account (Rekening Bank Lain). You know how to do it, right? for the bank code number, use 016 (BII), this code applies for transfer from ATM Bersama and Prima. For the account number, use 7821XXXXXXXXXXX, where X is your telephone number user for M-tix. If it’s 085255022033, then the account number is 7821085255022033. You’ll know if the transaction succeed because you will get a notifications by sms and email like five minutes or so.
(Note: Sometimes transfer via ATM won’t work. I usually use internet banking from my bank, BNI since it’s more reliable. The steps are the same, like you’re transferring funds to another bank. If it still doesn’t work, try doing it after business hours.)
Now what ?
Buy the ticket !
Contrary to popular belief too, you CAN choose your own seat. The only let down is you can’t buy your ticket anytime. There’s time limit :
- Monday to Thursday tickets can only be bought on its respective day, from 06.30 – 11.00 AM.
- Friday to Sunday tickets can be bought starting Friday 06.30 AM. Still, past 11.00 AM you cannot buy ticket for that day.
- Advance tickets can be bought up to a week before showing, depending on Cinema 21/XXI’s decision.
All in all, I think Cinema 21/XXI is still superior to it’s closest competitor, Blitz Megaplex. Blitz seat is so uncomfortable and they sell shitty food with a hefty price. They charge us three times the price of Nu Green Tea and dare to call it “Green Tea”. Cinema 21/XXI’s food is just as expensive but at least they put an effort to make their food special.
* Just to clear any potential confusion, Cinema 21/XXI & Blitz Megaplex I’m talking about are movie theater chains in Indonesia, not the one in Portland or any other places.
* M-tix reload can also be done via 21 (Cilandak Town Square and Setiabudi One) and any XXI cashier, including Gandaria City but be advised, the traffic is pretty crazy.
* When I first applied for M-tix, they are offering me reload feature via SMS but you have to sign a letter of attorney (surat kuasa) for them to charge your credit card (it’s in Senayan City, but when I asked the XXI cashier Plaza Indonesia, they know nothing about it)
I’m a sucker for a movie with beautiful scenery, exquisite dress and supernatural action, and Immortals deliver it all. I watched it awhile ago, and besides the amount of violence, I like it. The movie tell the story of Theseus, a nobody whom chosen by Zeus to fight Hyperion, your typical tyrant, who is trying to resurrect The Titans, the ruling Gods before Zeus, in order to rule the world.
Rather than doing the usual movie review, I’m just gonna put some thoughts that ‘distract’ me while watching the movie. (Ok, besides the obvious distractions called “Henry Cavill and Kellan Lutz super hotness”).
1). Theseus was supposed to a demigod, the son of a Queen and a King and Poseidon. Yet in the movie they made him a bastard son of some unknown villager.
(Theseus. Probably daydreaming what if he was a demigod, like he was supposed to be)
2). Theseus arm is so big but he’s chopping wood for like, five times yet it doesn’t break. (Watch the movie, and pay close attention when he’s chopping wood besides an old man)
3).They are wearing a very-very beautiful costumes. For Gods there’s daily dress, war dress, mourning dress. There’s a dress for every occasion.
(Olympians war dress. And why there’s only five of them ? Oh Zeus, You shouldn’t have killed Ares. He’s God of War, after all.)
4). How does Kellan Lutz gets a super sexy body ? Smokin’ hot.
5). The Titans was gods before the Olympians (Zeus cs) rules, yet in the movie, they made him like some sort of savages tribe.
(How many are they ? There are only like 12 titans, mythically speaking)
6). Zeus killed Ares for helping Theseus but not Athena. When fighting the titans, Zeus only stopped when Athena is dying. When tartarus is collapsing, he only brought Athena’s body. Is he in love with her?
(There’s two horse ready to bang. And there’s Athena)
7). So many violence. I can’t help but cringe when the priest cut his tongue
8). Freida Pinto acting is so convincing when she realized that her sisters is being cooked alive.
(The most tragic scene in the movie)
9). Poseidon’s hat looks so ridiculous
(Poseidon Ridiculous hat.. and body)
10). Theseus’ son, Acamas, is kinda ugly. Seriously, how could he. Both of his parent are good looking.
11). The Gods was kinda mortal for an immortal.
I have been a Mac person for about a year now, and while there’s many good things about Macbook that made it a superior from Windows-based PC, it also has it downside. It makes you forget things (sigh!). Below i have put down a list of things I forgot now that I own a Macbook :
1. Where did I put my files ?
Mac has this amazing feature called Spotlight that indexed everything on your computer, files, emails, webpages,etc. and If I wanted to search for something, I just fired up spotlight and it will search for them, super fast (unlike its Windows copycat feature). And every time you fired up Finder (Mac equivalent of Explorer in Windows), you are being presented with list of files based on its type in a chronological order so it’s even easier to find files you recently used.
Both of those feature makes you no longer need to navigate to folders to find your files and makes it even harder to remember where did you put your files.
2. What is driver ?
Printer is one of my most hated electronic devices out there. They seems to be broken every time you need them the most, combine it with Windows and you got a disaster. Printer driver is one of my biggest complain when using windows computer. Sometimes you just want to use a printer for one-time printing yet you have to scramble to find the driver, not to mention when you do find the driver, they install some useless add-ons with it.
What happen with printers in Mac ? You don’t have to worry about it. Mac regularly download printer driver from Apple server (you can opt to only download the popular type of printer) so when you do plug a printer on it, you just have to select the correct type of printer from the list and ta-da.. you’re done. And the good thing is, regardless of the type of the printer, they will all have consistent interface in Mac. Compared that to Windows : different printer, different bloated, ugly interface, ugh. Such an eye sore.
Moreover, this driver thingy is not only limited to printer. Remember when you’re installing Windows (every year or two) ? you have to find the right driver for the right operating system and you have to restart your system countless times. No, this doesn’t happen in Mac. Basically, there’s no such thing as driver.
3. Have I charged my laptop yet ?
Brand new windows-based laptop usually only have 2 hours battery life. Mac is double than that (at the minimum). It is very power-efficient, you can watch three episodes of Desperate Housewives without worrying about power cord.
4. How to shut down this laptop ?
Power-wise, Mac laptop behave more like smartphone than desktop computer. It is designed to be on all the time so you basically don’t have to turn off your computer, just close the lid and in a few seconds the computer will go to sleep with every component turned off except the memory (RAM). When you open the lid, it will be ready for use instantly. The only time you need to shut it down is when you’re not planning to use it for a long period.
This behavior saves you a lot of time. Booting computer takes a lot of time, more so if you have installed many, many programs that require itself to be active at boot time. This is the reason I only shut down my PC computer at work on Friday afternoon.
5. What ? There’s a virus in a computer ?
Despite what you might’ve read somewhere, I assure you, from real life experience, there’s no such thing as virus on Mac. I’ve witnessed too many of my colleagues losing hours even days of their productive time to deal with viruses on Windows.
Few months ago there’s a widely reported Malware attack on Mac (despite being widely reported, it only attack small number of users), since then Software Update feature on Mac added an additional defensive measure, by automatically updates the system to defend itself from such attack.
6. Mmm.. How to use this mouse thing.. ?
Multi-touch is amazing. It is much more natural than using a mouse and I can’t describe the wonder of using trackpad instead of mouse, you have to try it. Remember the awe you experienced using touchscreen smartphone or tablet for the first time ? Apple devices give you even better multi-touch experience. Swipe here, pinch there, it’s all so magical.
7. Have I saved my files ?
We’ve all been there. We wrote 10 pages long paper due for tomorrow and when Word asked for saving, we press Don’t Save instead of Save. Dark times it was. Well, that no longer happens in Mac. Mac (note: OS X Lion only ) automatically saves your work, and you even can easily revert back when needed. Cheers to that.
Sounds like a Mac endorsement, no?
I woke very early that day, it was my last day in Bali and I wanted to make the most of it..
I watched the sunrise, did some Yoga and jogging by the beach before went for breakfast. It was a very peaceful morning.
Then I read the news while I’m having my bread.
I said “Innalillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Roji’un” spontaneously..
I spent the rest of the morning reading obituaries (while shedding a few tears, hahah) and personal experiences from many people who had the luck to encounter Steve Jobs in their life. And from what I’ve read, he is a great man indeed (and being dead helped too, people tend to say nice things to you when you’re dead).
Thought it’s been said countless times, it is weird to feel so much connection and sadness for someone you don’t know. When my friend’s dad died, i feel sad for my friend, for how he felt. But when Steve Jobs passed, i feel sad for my self. It really feels like losing a relative..
Three or four years ago, if someone had asked me, name one person, dead or alive, you would loved to have a chance to chat with, I would’ve come up with a generic answer like Mahatma Ghandi or Albert Einstein. But it was all changed when I read about Steve Jobs. His excellence, his temper, his passion, his perseverance, his perfectionism, his taste, he is an inspiration. Until now, not one person has ever had so much influence on my way of thinking and doing things other than him.
If being asked to name that one person to chat with, have you found yours ?
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.