The Crown Bridge @ Skeppsholmsbron, Stockholm – Sweden

đŸ“· Astrid Maharani

📍 Skeppsholmsbron, Stockholm – Sweden

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A Random Thoughts: Love Has No Border

I believe that love has no border. Who’s agree with me now?

Since I quite often to travel to some places, I realised about some things in life, that I actually never know if its exist or even growing faster than I thought.

Like, love.

I really like to daydream at the airport, the station and in the park, every time I travel. Looking at people were walking around, have a chit-chat or just simply sitting and enjoy the weather in the park with their partners. But then, there are some moments which make me think and realise that I saw there are a lot of mixed couples each time I travel.

Last time, I saw some couples who also waited for the next flight like I did, when I was at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok and Arlanda Airport, Stockholm. The first one, seems from somewhere in America Latin and European, the others seems from South Asian countries, Thailand with American/European and there was also from the Middle East with European. Of course, it wasn’t my first time to see such things at the airport. I’ve seen a lot of it before in some different places. And since then, it makes me realise something…

LOVE HAS NO BORDER

The border what I talked here, is not only because of the different continents and countries, it is about the age, the gender, the culture, the habits, the religion, the race, the time, the place, the colour, and so forth.

Some people I knew have said, “I don’t understand with people who is doing long-distance relationship + a mixed couple! I mean, the ‘normal-ish’ relationship itself is somehow difficult for some people who even have a chance to see each other often, then how come long distance relationship could work? And sometimes it’s already difficult for a couple who has a different culture even they’re coming from the same country.”

I always laughed if I heard about those things. Because I know that love is a miracle that we even can’t control it, we can’t control our feeling who we will be falling in love with, we never understand about love. It somehow makes us lose control, makes us happier, lives healthier, ups and downs and everything in between!

I have some friends which look so much happier and oh-so-in-love even they have the same-sex relationship. I also have seen many couples who has so much different in term of their age (like I do now), but they’re all seems happy. I saw many mixed couples these past few years, till I experienced it by myself, with some of the differences that I and my partner has, it doesn’t make us feel weird or annoying to each other, but it does make us even richer about everything, we share our common values, we share and trying to understand about our cultures, my religion, our daily lives, exchange ideas, and more respect each other’s perspectives.

As we all know, we live with many differences in our lives, so embrace the diversity! Just don’t ever change people just because their culture and perspectives are different from what you have and what you’ve wished for. Always see there is always beautiful things behind every differentiates.

Don’t ever see those differences are barriers in your life, but rather than to see them as your sources on pursuing your only happiness, love and live your life, even though you have to step beyond the borders.

Love, xoxo.

 

 

A Dream Came True (with the best partner)

Who’s never had a dream to visit the most beautiful and romantic city like Paris?

Well, the term of the most beautiful and romantic city can be different from each people’s perspectives. But for me, Paris is indeed the most romantic city in the world.

I’ve been to Paris two times, first was during autumn in 2015 and the last time was just last week! I love France since I was 8 years old, at first just because I love Zinedine Zidane, then I love the football team, the country and then starting to love all about Paris, France and Eiffel Tower. When I was a teenager, I always wonder…

“When I could make it happen to go to Paris? Will I have a chance to go there for FREE?”

Because what I know, if we want to go to European countries it will be very expensive for Indonesian people to afford it by themselves. So, I keep praying, dreaming and wishing. In every birthday, in one of my birthday wishes, I always pray that one day I will go to Paris, to see the Eiffel tower with my own eyes, to feel how does it feel to live and to walk like a Parisienne. I want to feel all of it!

And my dream, my wishes became true in Autumn, 2015. I went to Paris! I got to see the Eiffel tower! I went to Notre Dame! Walked to the Pont Alexandre III! I enjoyed the Museum de Louvre and took pictures with the pyramid glass! And I visited the Arc de Triomphe! Last but not least, I went to Gare de Lyon, which I knew and remembered it was the station that Mr. Bean used for his 2nd movie, Mr. Bean Holiday! Hahaha. But last time, I was thinking that Paris is full of the traffic jam, just like in Jakarta, but the different was only less bad pollution. And every touristic place, even like Eiffel tower was always crazy and full of visitors.

Ok, so that the short story, back in 2015 and I was thinking it will be my first and last time to go to Paris.

But… it was a mistake.

In fact, I had a chance to visit Paris again, just last week! And…. with someone that I truly adore, with the best human that I ever had, my best (and crazy) partner ever! We spent the holiday together for a week in Paris, we made an itinerary which always full of must-visit-destinations. Then with him, now I know and I truly understand and even feel it, that Paris is indeed a romantic city in the world if you spent it with the one that you truly loved! ❀

Luckily, he has cousins which live in the south part of Paris. So we “rent” her apartment and stayed there for a week. His cousins were super nice with us! And the location was actually very great, because it is close to the bus and metro station, so it’s easier for us to move around to the central.

Last time I went to Paris, I still remembered that I ever wonder, what if I am here with someone that I love? It must be very beautiful. Last time one of my wishes were to have a lunch or dinner in Le Consulat Cafe which located in Montmartre area, go to the Sacre Couer and take romantics pictures with my boyfriend/husband, one day!

So this is it…

 

See my happy face? It was just after we ate a very delicious omelette in Le Consulat!
Look who’s very hungry? ❀
DĂ©licieux Omelette @ Le Consulat
Look our happy face in front of the Sacre Coeur!

Yes, and just after 2 years, all of that was fulfilled this month! I even can’t describe how I feel much grateful and happy about it. It’s indeed, that we never know God’s plan for our future. But what I know, He always heard all of our prayers. So, keep and never bored to wish and dreams, friends 😉

Oh, and we were lucky that we met with a professional photographer from Argentina, that we ever asked to took a picture of us in front of the Eiffel tower. We actually just need an amateur picture ones, but then he took A PROFESSIONAL AND GREAT ONE! Which we super-love!

Thank you, Sandra and Fabian, for great pictures! We ❀ it!

One thing that I always feel beyond happy in there, not only because of the cutest and handsome boyfriend that I have or the beautiful of Paris city lights, but also I can feel that I finally found my “home” that I’ve been looking for, I even feel that I have my new family and have a new Mom, which live in another part of the world. Thus, I can’t stop to say Alhamdulillah for the happiness and loves that I have until now.

Some of you may ever have a feeling that you even can’t describe, but you feel much better, much happier and you feel that comfortable feeling, which you never had before with someone else, than with someone you truly love. Like I do, now. A person that you can be a true version of yourself. A person that always make you happy by the small things that he did to you. A person that could give anything you need without you have to ask. A person who could receive you, just the way you are, without we need to change our-self for him.

You know who you are.

I love you more and more each day.

Even more than I love Paris and its Eiffel tower now.

Or even more, than the croissant, pain au chocolat, Starbucks caffe latte and Tropicana orange juice!

I love you my present and future!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

WITT #19: Welcome, My Month!

Hello June and Welcome New Month!! #hellojune #welcomejune #begoodtome #summeriscoming #june #summertime #summersunshine #pinacolada #fruitcocktail #palmtrees #sunshine #winsometaylordesigns:
Picture from Pinterest

Yassss! Welcoming June is always my favourite thing to do every year. Why? Because it’s my birthday’s month and it’s a sign that summer season is coming!

Somehow, June always gives me some heartbeats (and a headache) because it is a sign that my age will be added a year older. Then it will come many questions like, what I have already done during all years? What kind of good deeds I did to other people? Did I’ve done something useful for others? Do I already make my parents happy and proud of me during my whole life?

Lots of questions will come up to my mind and after more and more wishes, I will say during my birthday.

But I feel more grateful for things that I already had and all things that I have spent these past few years. Allah has been very kind to me, my family and people that I love. I’ve been experiencing ups and downs too these past few years, but it make me learn a lot, it make me grown up as the best version of myself and I will never stop to learn to be better.

Oh, I have so many things going on in my head now, I have so many stories to tell and share it on my blog, and I can’t stop to tell the world, that I am a very lucky girl and (hopefully) will always be.

Happy June, my lovelies!

*

Oh yes, in case some of you who keep asking what is WITT? It is the abbreviation of ‘What I am Thinking of Today?’. It almost tells how I feel, what I am doing and what I wanna do 🙂

#7th Review: Clarion Hotel, Stockholm – Sweden (RingvĂ€gen)

I know I know, sorry for being so ignorant these days and not posting something on my blog lately. I travelled to Stockholm and Paris (again) for two weeks! I could say, I am a very very very lucky girl that I got chances to attend one of an international forum which has been held in Stockholm in the midst of May 2017. It was my second time went there, the first one back to October 2015, during an autumn season which was super cold (I mean, for a girl who lives in a tropical country) and now I got a chance to feel a spring season in Stockholm! Super-YAY!

Super-YAY!

Different with the last time, this year I’ve stayed in one of a four-stars hotel in Stockholm, namely the Clarion Hotel Stockholm! Don’t be wrong, as they also have another Clarion Hotel which located nearby the Arlanda Airport. But this one,  it is located in a very strategist location at the heart of Stockholm, in Södermalm area. And I will give my review of the hotel for your recommendations as below.

Hotel view from the outside

Yes as you can see, the picture above is the hotel which I took from the small street just behind the building. It’s face to the highway which connects to the city. I got a super comfortable and spacious bedroom only for myself! And I often wonder, why the four stars hotel in Stockholm very different with the one that we have in Jakarta, Indonesia?

And I often wonder, why the four stars hotel in Stockholm very different with the one that we have in Jakarta, Indonesia?

Well, maybe it’s a perk living in developing country like in Indonesia, I think! 😉

view of my room from the entrance

So, yup, this is the entrance of my room. It’s a quite narrow aisle, where you can see the right of the entrance is the shower room (sorry, I forgot to did not take a picture of it, but it’s quite spacey) and the left is the big mirror (I really love it) and wardrobe, where I put my suitcase, shoes and stuff.

Let me rephrase it again, oh I love the big mirror in this room!

the super-warm bed!

And this is the super warm bed! It supposed to be used for 2 people, but they gave us each room for every participant, which was super nice. Even though the weather was cold for someone who used to live in tropical country, but this hotel room also provide an AC and a heater, for sure!

Well, every night, I always turned on my AC because I feel bit hot, don’t know why. I even was sweating a lot during the night under my blanket. Overall, it was super-nice stay in Clarion Hotel Stockholm!

There was a TV and I was super happy because I was hoping that I may watch HBO or any movies in there but in fact, they only have Swedish channels and some Asian channel which only Thai and some Chinese channel, I guess. Since I don’t have movies also on my harddisk, so I just left the TV off all days during my stay in there, haha.

And plus, who need the TV, when we travel to another country? Wohoo!

Another thing I love about this hotel was… the BREAKFAST! They have many choices and various food. But my favourite was the scrambled eggs with creamy cheese, crepes with the chocolate cream, their fruits, also raspberries juice which was perfectly VERY FRESH! Besides they also have any kind of cereals, granola, croissant, any kind of salads, sausage, rice, omelette, and many more.

I was disappointed with their coffee, anyway. For me and some of my friends, the coffee taste was very bad. So I never took the coffee again after I tried during the first day I stayed there. But they have very spacious breakfast restaurant and I loved to sit nearby the window to see beautiful cherry blossom which left some after the spring effect.

About the service? I could give 8 out of 10. At the second day, I stayed there, I put the “Clean My Room” sign mark in front of my room and then I left it maybe for an hour to breakfast, then when I came back, surprisingly my room and bathroom was already clean and tidy! And they were super friendly and helpful because I gave my postcards that I wanted to send to my boyfriend and his Mom postcards but didn’t found any post box, then I just gave it to the receptionist and they will exactly help you! 😉

I love the area because, in the neighbourhood, we can easily found Subway Resto, 7/11, minimart, H&M, Telia counter (if you want to buy new sim card), and small shops surround.

 

View in front of the entrance of the hotel

 

If you want to go to the central, it is easier to take the train or subway just in front of the hotel. The name of the subway station is Skanstull. They have a single trip, a week trip and a month trip if I am not mistaken, but since I have stayed only for 3N4D (and most of the times I only stayed at the conference), so I bought the single trip, which only valid for an hour (as written on the ticket). The cost for the single trip was Kr. 43 which is equal to EUR 4,5.

Yes, it is VERY expensive.

It’s very different with the one that I bought in any other European countries, like for example in Paris. For single trip during an hour, the price around EUR 1,85 where it is included RER (central), bus and metro. And what I know from a friend who live in Stockholm, the transportation in Sweden it’s very expensive compared to other European countries, even Geneva, Switzerland.

So the mechanism by using this single trip ticket is we have to show the ticket to someone who stays at the ticket counter, then they will open the gate, from inside the counter, for us to go in. And we don’t have to tap or insert the ticket if we want to go out from the station. Because the door will be automatically open.

But I will tell you a little bit secret, so the first time I bought the single trip, I used it for more than  4-5 hours! You must be wondering, how come I did that? Because most of them who standby at the ticket counter, they don’t really check for the duration which written on your ticket and they just open the door for you.

And yes… I was lucky because of that. I just showed to them my ticket and pretend that I was in hurry, then they will just open the door for you 😉 Hahaha, I know it was very bad and I may get a fine if they knew I was cheated. I AM SOOOO SORRY SIRS/MADAMES. It’s just because your subway ticket was crazy expensive for (cheap) Asian people like me, hahaha.

Anyway, sorry if it’s out of context from the hotel review, I just want to share my experience with you haha.

Ok, so for me, it was very easy to go to the city or old town from the hotel. If you want to take the subway, it will only take like 5 minutes and if you want to go there by walking its around 30-45 minutes.

Some cherry blossom left, after spring effect
view from the other side of the hotel entrance

How about the hotel price? Well, I didn’t know how does it cost for the hotel room which the organiser paid for me to stay 4D3N in there?! But I’d checked the price in Booking.com, the price is around IDR 2.160.000 or equal to EUR 145 as per night, which if I rent a hotel room with that price in Indonesia, I could get a room in 5-stars hotel, for sure!

So, I could say, I was very lucky (again) for many times in my life! And I had a pleasant stay in Clarion Hotel Stockholm 🙂

xoxo

 

 

WITT #18: H-7 to go (back) to Stockholm!

I am so happy that next week, I will be back to the first travel (far away) abroad, first city, first country, first Scandinavian country, the first European country that I ever visited! Yes, it is Stockholm.

Back to October 2015, I went to Stockholm for the Stockholm Internet Forum 2015 as one of the participants. It was the best experiences so far for me, I met with a lot of new friends and networking. And surprisingly, I never thought that a country which located in the north part of the world could be very beautiful with their original sparkling colour which also divided by some lakes.

I love how the old city in Stockholm gave a new spirit, enthusiasm, and incredible feeling! And this year, actually it’s next week, I will have a flight to Stockholm again to attend the Stockholm Internet Forum 2017! It’s an honour for me to be back and participate a huge forum like that. And can’t hardly wait to gain new knowledge, new friends and of course, new experience and excitement!

I will try to write some blog posts about the conference and my adventure or journey to Stockholm Part 2!

See ya..

 

#6th Review: Morrissey Hotel, Jakarta

Hello, my lovelies readers! It’s been a long time since I wrote my last hotel review.

Today I am gonna write my review during my stay in Morrissey Hotel, Jakarta! For Jakartans people, maybe already know about Morrissey Hotel.

I have stayed in there for few times before, and I found its really great place to stay either with your partner, family, friends, as well as for working purpose. Why? Because the room that they have is very cozy, super clean room, nice service and located in a strategic place in the heart of Jakarta.

Spacious Twin Room @ Morrissey Hotel

This is how the twins room look alike, basically, the decoration is the same with the deluxe room. They have studio apartment room type. The price is not really expensive for a night, usually, it ranges around Rp 1.000.000 – Rp 1.250.000 ($75-94), it will depend on when you’ll book the room.

Yes! You definitely can cook in this apartment room type! ❀

Once you enter the room, on the left side, you will see there is a mini kitchen, complete with a sink, stove, microwave, toaster, refrigerator, and all of the kitchenware (even complete with the cutlery).

From entrance side
Kind of ‘living room’
Makeup and working space
Entertainment space (TV cable, DVD player, iPod dock)
Twin Bed
I love their brick wall ❀
Complete with 2 bottles of mineral water, tea, coffee, and creamer

They also provide an iron, hairdryer, safety deposit box, bathrobe, cute and free toiletries, slippers and plus they also have a double sofa for you to enjoy with your partners during your stay in there.

Besides, they also have swimming pool and gym where you can relax and enjoy sunset/sunrise from the upper floor! It’s very close to National Monument, 2 famous culinary areas: Sabang and Jaksa, also 5 minutes walk to Sarinah and 5 minutes drive to Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. You can easily travel or hang out around there by using Bajaj or Ojek. 

The price above is included with breakfast for 2 person(s) with different and variety kind of food, from Western to Eastern and not to forget, Indonesian specialities!

I wish you will have a pleasant stay in Morrissey as I always did…

Morrissey Hotel Residences

Jl. Wahid Hasyim No.70, Menteng, 10340 Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia