Summer fireworks in Geneva!

Well, hello for those who’s the biggest fan of fireworks! I am gonna show you beautiful pictures of me during Fêtes de Genève or Geneva Festivals on last summer 2016! I was very lucky, yes, because I got fellowship during the best season in Geneva, Switzerland. Why? Because you can easily found many nice festivals in the Jet d’eau lake and for being honest, the warm weather during summer much look alike in Jakarta or even some cases, even hotter in Geneva.

And to see the feu d’artifice or fireworks, it commonly held by August each year. The fireworks long last between 45-55 minutes which located in the lake. You need to be sacrificed yourself first, if you want to watch this and get a very strategic place, like what I did last year. So I came to the lakeside, since the afternoon like around 4 pm to get a place right in front of the lake.

And the fireworks itself, just started, at 10 pm.

Yes, it was an amazing experience, to wait for the fireworks for 6 hours in the lake accompanied with crazy windy during the afternoon, hahaha. If you want to get the best place to see the fireworks, you must go to the lake at least 3 hours advance, before the fireworks begin.

And, for the better, you can bring folding chair/cushion/pillow/bean bag or anything so you can sit comfortably and also the blanket, as it will start to get cold during the evening. Not to forget to bring snacks and drinks as you will stay there for hours!

So, enjoy the fireworks, guys!

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The fireworks started to play

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📷 Astrid Maharani (by Samsung S7 Edge)
📍 Jet d’eau Lake, Geneva – Switzerland

WITT #8 : Life between Geneva and Jakarta (1)

Yay, my blog post about “What I’m Thinking of Today?” or I usually called it with WITT now its already 8th times! In this time, I will try to tell many different things that I feel between live in Geneva and Jakarta. Here we go!

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Since I came back from Geneva, sometimes I feel like half of me has changed already. I never thought that I could live by myself and moreover live far away from home. From my family and friends. Since I was born, I never live far away from my family for a long time, but I did. I lived in Geneva by myself for 3 months. I never thought that I could have had this chance. This year was the best year so far for me! I even celebrated my 26th birthday in Geneva! In the most expensive city in Switzerland, I could say, hahaha.

Well, back to the story that I wanted to tell.

So when I came back here in Jakarta, I could feel there are many different things between Geneva and Jakarta. Well, I shouldn’t compare both of this city, because I know both are definitely different, where Switzerland is a developed country, while Indonesia is still known as developing country. I could feel and see many different things between two of them, mostly on general things that I found in the street.

The ethics of queuing. In Geneva, I saw there were so many immigrants than the Swiss citizen. We can easily found, the Africans, Arabian, as well as Asian. But they always obedient and well-ordered every times they were queuing. In Jakarta, people tends to be disordered, precede each other, apathetic, and sometimes they seem intolerance even with the elder people.

Self-service habits. In Geneva, there are some places which tend obliges us to do everything by ourselves, such as; self-service payment in a supermarket, self-service in the gas station, put our dishes by ourselves in the provided spaces at the restaurant and much more. In Jakarta, we are still relying on the waitress services, sometimes I was thinking that Jakarta people are still like being spoiled. If we go to the restaurants, cafes, or food court, you can see so many people left their dishes on the table; there are only few gas stations in Jakarta which using the self-service, and there is no supermarket who apply for the self-service payment. We do still need a cashier.

Elder/Disable/Pregnant women’s signs (special seat). In Geneva, if we see every sign which contains and concerned to the people that I mentioned above, it means we need to obey it and people seems fine and keep standing in order to respect the sign. In Jakarta, as long as those special seats still empty, so we definitely can sit in there! Sometimes people who sit there, even they saw people who have the special criteria, they sit still and seems ignored or sometimes pretend they were sleeping.

Public transport payment method. Oh, this is what I still amazed with the payment method for the public transportation in Geneva. So usually every months I bought/renewal/recharge my TPG (transport public Genevois) card for CHF 70 (or equally to IDR 935.000) and it is already included unlimited used for busses, trams, and taxi boat only valid within Geneva. We don’t have to tap the card to the small machine in a bus/in a station, we just can go directly to the public transport that we want to use. And during my 3-months stayed in Geneva, there was only one time the bus officers tried to checked my TPG card! In Jakarta, we have two payments method for the public transportation; First, we need to recharge the card (usually it depends on how much money do you want to fill in the card, minimum IDR 50.000 or EUR 3.6) with all that money we can use the bus for 14 times, because usually they charged for one time; one destination only for IDR 3.500 or EUR 0.3 cents, this payment method only valid for the Transjakarta busses! The second one, we can use the traditional bus which is we can pay directly to the driver/the bus officer which is inside the bus, the price usually lil bit expensive than Transjakarta, it will take around IDR 4.000 – 10.000, it depends on the distance. Why Transjakarta is cheaper? Because it’s owned and regulated by the Jakarta provincial government.

I think I still can feel there are many different between Geneva and Jakarta. I will definitely update more once I remember.

(to be continued)

WITT #1: Post-Geneva Syndrome

What is WITT #1? Well it’s actually abbreviation of “What I’m Thinking of Today?”. Since today, I will try to share some stories which will starting from every simple things that I have thinking of every days. And such a new ways on sharpening my English writing skills. Wish me luck, yes!?

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It’s been almost three weeks since I came back from Geneva, but I still feel homesick and there is something that missing deep in my heart. I feel like I found myself, new family and new friends in there. I was enjoying myself being alone and independent all of times. Had many chances to met with many new friends during my Europe trip it is also became one of my favorite journey!

I didn’t know since when I could be very brave to travel around and started labeling myself as ‘solo-traveler addicted’, but that is the biggest enjoyment that I could feel right now!

Recently I feel really missed Geneva and its beauty. Even some people said, Geneva is only a small and boring city, but still I could feel my own happiness or even on finding my real identity.

I feel like I left everything behind in Geneva. I left my own happiness, my deepest feeling, my sadness, my loneliness, my dreams, my bad and good times, even I left my gallbladder there! Lol..

I never knew that 2016 has brought me to be the best and the most interesting year in my life so far.

I don’t know what I could say to Him, except grateful feelings about many things that happened with me during my stayed in Geneva, Switzerland.

(*)

Ps. I am writing this in the middle of the night at the hospital with the infused on my left hand, since the stupid thing I did last night and enjoying myself to watching my lovely Mom sleeping beside my bed. I am sorry Mom, that I’ve been busy recently with my own feelings, till I didn’t realized that you are the one that I want to be with forever in my life. I love you beyond everything in this world.

My 1st week live in Geneva, Switzerland

Day 1 – Arrival (Wednesday, June 15, 2016)

Finally, after short dramatic which was happened 5 hours before I take off to Geneva. So here I am! Happy to be back in Geneva! It’s already 8 months since my last 24-hours visit on last October 2015. And now I am back in Geneva for 3-months. Yes. 3-months. This will be my first time to work, live and stay far away from home, family, parents, and friends.

Do you guys want to know what was happened in the last 5 hours right before my departure to Geneva? Just a bit flashback. So, since the very first time they told me about the ticket, what I remember is the ticket will depart on June 16, 2016, at 00.40 am. So that is what I was thinking about until the day I finally depart from Jakarta.

Until one of my colleague in Geneva told me that he will pick me up at the airport in Geneva on June 15 at 13.00 Geneva time. I was kinda bit shocked and weird, because I will depart from Jakarta on June 16 and why he told me he will pick me up on June 15, rather than June 16?! At that time I am still working at the office (in the morning, I took my visa at TLScontact) because I need to finish and pack my things before I go. Then, I saw my ticket for 3 times and was just realised that “OMG! My ticket supposed to be tonight, not tomorrow!”. My hand started trembled, shaking and sweating. I directly calling my Mom and my brother, told them that I am in S.O.S situation which is I will go to the airport tonight not tomorrow, and I will be back at home in an hour to finishing some things to pack!

All of the family suddenly in rush situations! They were started busy as well to prepare a couple of things, to make sure I did not leave any things that I need in there for 3-months!

At 20.30, we all arrived at the airport and Abyan, my baby nephew, was already sleeping in my car. There were my parents, my sister, brother, sister-in-law, grandma, and nephews! I did feel very glad, grateful, funny, and lucky enough that this is the first time they wanted to accompany me to the airport.

At 21.30, I entered the gate, security check, check in my luggage, immigration and then waiting for boarding. I was still laughing at that time if I remember all of my stupidity on that day. But it’s nice, and again, LESSON LEARNED!

Oh, this is also my first time took EMIRATES! I got a new plane as well, so they have a WiFi connection with limited quota and times (valid within 2hrs), but the WiFi will start to connect if we already in over that 30.000 – 35.000 ft. Their food? Well, not really bad. The taste was nice, the serving was very warm! (KLM is very best for food and little things that they offer). But this plane is quite big, even I can longer my legs!

It took around 7hrs from Jakarta to Dubai (then 3 hrs transit)! So I finally arrived in Dubai like 5 am. And from the aircraft parking lot to the airport is quite far, we need to take the minibus to get there (5-10mins). I was waiting until 9.30am for my flight to Geneva.

Feel like I am the one who’s on the plane!

Arrived in Geneva at 13.35! Alhamdulillah. Joseph, one of my colleague here, pick me up at the airport. Escorted me to my apartment, bought me the unlimited ticket buses, to the office, then accompanied me to buy my local sim card! Everything gets done and thanks a lot for him!

Day 2 – 1st time working at the UN Human Rights Council (Thursday, June 16, 2016)

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it” -Paulo Coelho

Last October 2015, a good friend dropped me at the UN Office in Geneva and took a picture of me in front of the building, because he knew that I love UN! And 8 months since that, June 16, 2016, I am here! At the UN! Not as a tourist, but I am part of it! Part of the UN Human Rights Council. Part of their history!!!!

I was so excited today because one of my dreams slowly (but sure) I could achieve!

Now I realised, if we believe in something which is positive for us, just believe it, be humble and dare to dream high!

Many thanks to Allah and Mama who always prays for me every time! ❤ you forever!

Day 3 – 1st time giving the Oral Statement on behalf of FORUM-ASIA (Friday, June 17, 2016)

Hahaha, so the funny story happened today! One of my colleagues said that I need to deliver the oral statement as NGO representative at the Council session. In very last minutes, I sent a message to my family group on Whatsapp that I will be delivered the statement at the UN, so I gave the UN Webcast link for them, just in case they wanna see me. And they did! So embarrassing.

Not too good, not so professional, but I was very happy that day, coz I got the chance and my family very proud of me!

Just in case you wanna see, here is ME!

My stupid face right before I read the oral statement, lol
(Right to left: Pak Bona from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, ME, Pak Triyono – the Indonesian Ambassador for the UN and International Organization, Pak Dicky Komar – Director of Human Rights in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pak Acep, the Indonesian Diplomats in Geneva)

So proud that I took this picture with the Indonesian diplomats and Indonesian Government at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Day 4 – Cleaning, cleaning and went to Iftar with the Indonesian Mission in Geneva (Saturday, June 18, 2016)

Indonesian fooooood!! That was the only one I thinking about when they invited me to go to Iftar or breakfasting in Watappri in Malagnou, Geneva – Switzerland. Yeah even though I just arrived there for couple days, I already missed Indonesian food, especially my homemade food.

In here, I had a chance to meet with Indonesian people who live in Geneva. So happy to see how they live going well even they are not live in their hometown or country they were born. Oh that time, I still not fasting yet because of my period.

Day 5 – Welcome 26th, Me! (Sunday, June 19, 2016)

OMG! I never had any dreams to celebrate my birthday in another country, especially in Switzerland! But I did. For the first time in my life, I had my birthday far away from home, family, friends, and it makes me was so completely alone but happy at the same time!

I was so lucky that I have a good friend in Geneva. Well actually he lives in Gland, so we celebrated my birthday together at his place! He taught me how to make Swiss pie! Loved it… Thank you, Marcell! Oh, he also gave me a cute present voucher that I could change to money at the minimarket, which equals to CHF 10 or in IDR 140.000, hahaha.

Day 6 – Meet with David at the UN Human Rights Council (Monday, June 20, 2016)

I have a new friend at the Council. He is a Dutch who working in UN Watch. We actually in the same building but his on the 1st floor and mine the 2nd one. We share some thoughts and doing silly things in front of the UN webcam! Lol..

Day 7 – Attending to the meeting on the draft resolution of violence against women (Tuesday, June 21, 2016)

During the meeting of the resolutions. It was attended by all of country representatives, before it’s going to be adopted by the Council.
monitoring the meeting, check, check, check!