Minggu, 25 Desember 2016

7 Things to Eat in Melbourne

"Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide, there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. The city centre has meanwhile reinvented itself with chic laneway eateries and rooftop bars opening in former industrial buildings." -Lonely Planet.

Melbourne is a good city for food craving. It has various cuisine from all over the world; asian, middle-east, mexican, italian, american and so on. I once tried a taco in Melbourne and I had to admit that I like that taco more than all tacos I ate in Mexico (unless you find a right street food taco in Mexico). Not only the main course but the dessert too. So, here I summarize 7 cuisines to eat while you're in Melbourne.

7. Grill'd Burgers

In the whole time of my life, so far, I never tasted the most juicy tenderly patty but this simply Grill'd. You can find this restaurant easily in this town. There are several burger variant, buns option and toppings. There are also other menu such as hot chips (or commonly we know as french fries), salad and sandwiches. I would recommend for the Our famous Grill'd chips. What I like more about this restaurant personally is they care about their social environment. They support the local community by their "Local Matters" program. It's a monthly donation program in which every Grill'd branch restaurants donate $500 into their local community. Grill'd burger also claimed as a healthy food with locally farmed meat, low sugar, good oil and they open their ingredients recipe.

More info:
Source: https://www.instagram.com/grilldburgers/

6. L'Olivo
Source: lolivo.com.au
Italian food is almost everywhere and accepted around the world as a famous dish to be enjoyed both dine in and take away. Namely pizza, can be enjoyed with family, friends, also alone. Here, in Malvern East, in the corner of the street of Waverly Road, there's a homey Italian restaurant. It opens every Tuesday-Sunday from noon till supper. There are Italian dishes that L'Olivo can offer: tapas (starter/appetizer), pasta, risotto and of course pizza; margarita, mexicana, parma, genoa, napolitana, hawaiian, vegetarian, aussie and many many more options. They also have desserts and  Salads.

More info:

5. Krimper

Source: http://www.krimper.com.au/

Definitely, the place that I would've booked for my special occasions such as birthday or farewell if I've lived in Melbourne. With its industrial interior design, Krimper is a so homey brunch spot not to be missed while visiting Melbourne. The venue has its unique character through its rough and rustic detailing. Located in the heart of Melbourne city, this cafe open everyday from 7.30 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 8.30 am to 4 pm on weekend. French toast, pancake, mac & cheese, gnocchi, burger all you can find here. There are extras and side dishes. For the beverage, hot chocolate is a lovely choice during the windy days on September. They also have coffee such as Red Eye (the mother of all coffee), organic tea, juices, smoothies and khamr. And don't forget to take a look at daily menu board!
Source: https://www.instagram.com/krimpercafe (processed by writer)
More info:

4. Mrs. Parmas
Source: http://mrsparmas.com.au/
So according to wikipedia parma reffers to an Italian-American dish consists of a breaded chicken topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan or provolone cheese. And Mrs. Parma is the only bistro in Melbourne specializing in parmagiana's. Made of 230 gram chicken breast, imported Italian tomatoes, finest ingredients and love this parma is perfect. The options for the parma includes original, mushroom, mexican, super spicy parma called parma'geddon, chorizo, greek, brushetta and bunch of other options. Another dishes that can be chosen are bratwurst, salads, burgers, gnocchi, tandoori with pita bread and indeed desserts (one of them is mini pavlova that you should try)!

More info:

3. Kanpai

A Japanese restaurant you can find in South Yarra is Kanpai. Kanpai means cheers! It seems like a piece of Japan in Melbourne but this experience would remind you to Melbourne because through the restaurants window you can see Melbourne streets showing local pedestrian and local shops until branded shops of South Yarra. Kanpai offers various sushi, sashimi, shogayaki, teppanyaki, teriyaki, yakiniku, udon, ramen and all Japanese dish I won't mention one by one including dorayaki. Well, I tried the sushi and the teppanyaki yet I fell in love with teppanyaki mixed that I ordered consisted of grilled meat, seafood, vegetables and creamy garlic flavored sauce. The sauce is the champions. Super good!

More info:

Source: writer's personal doc
P.S: sorry for the blurry pict. of the teppanyaki. I was too excited.

2. The Grace Darling Hotel
Source: https://www.instagram.com/thegracedarling/
Melbourne famous for its local musicians such as the Tramper Trap, the Paper Kites, Air Supply, Jet, Architecture in Helsinki and hundred others. So, what can be better than serving local gigs and local eatery at the same time? In the heart of Collingwood, the Grace Darling Hotel open everyday from 12 pm until 1 am except on Sunday they close at 11 pm. They divided the lunch and dinner menu in which they have burgers, salads, steaks and desserts. For dinner you can order slow cooked lamb shepherds pie with fried broccoli or house made pappardelle with duck ragu & parmesan that you can't find in the lunch menu and enjoy Melbourne's local musical acts in the band room! If you're a young traveler keen on culture and support local music; this is it, the Grace Darling Hotel is a culinary spot that must be in your to visit list. *you can find the gigs schedule in the website below*

More info:

Source: http://thegracedarlinghotel.com.au/
1. Sea Eyes

Get ready to sippin on the sunshine because The Great Ocean Road with its Twelve Apostles is Melbourne most iconic place that you can see in the calendar and postcard. From Melbourne city to the limestone stacks you will drive across Anglesea town which offer a lot of thing to do including food. Located in Anglesea shopping village, Sea Eyes have both indoor and outdoor dining area. From its exterior Sea Eyes could easily recognized as beach restaurant and I bet you don't wanna miss English traditional dish that is adapted by Australian and has became its signature dish names Fish&Chips. The fish is smooth inside and crispy outside with a small cup of delicious creamy tartar sauce also the fresh veggie is delicious. Take it away and enjoy the Great Ocean Roads beaches to experience the fully satisfied Australia trip!
Source: writer's personal doc
  • Campos Coffee
  • Beachcomber
  • Max Brenner (franchise in several countries such as USA, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Russia, China)
And actually there's a super recommended ice cream in Charlton named Helados Jauja but unfortunately now they're permanently closed.

Selasa, 13 September 2016

Viva Mexico

September 9th 2016

KLM Royal Dutch Airline, (random time).
I flied over the black sea; another to visit list. I never thought God hears my pray too soon. I'm heading to Amsterdam but sadly that's not my destination this time. It's Mexico. Started from I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport, Denpasar, it's been 14 hours flight (some hours to go) and I had dinner 3 times at night; definetely a monster---anw, KLM has the best tiramisú cheese cake in the world ever! I was a little bit anxious due to my laptop battery is getting low. All summer school material was there and actually I had not prepared anything.

Schipol, Netherland
It's a gift to be talkative and sociable. I talk with some people in this land and in addition I met a Mexcian journalist señor Orlando who helped in Benito Juarez airport (Mexico) with the uber taxi.

Santa Fe, Mexico City
Finally! This is it! After I got in the nissan sedan black I opened my spotify application and played 'Amigos' song. Beautiful town! What I saw was literally like the houses in telenovela. The uber driver was an old man with a-so-latin-face; black thick eyebrows, gray headed, pointed nose, strong jaws structure and a warm hospitality. Nevertheless, he does not speak English. Most local Mexican doesn’t especially at his age, similar with the old woman that I met in Schipol, we communicated a lot with gesture because I have a very limited ability in Spanish and she doesn’t speak English at all. Having a bottle of mineral water the uber driver gave me, I was mesmerized by the town I’ve just hit and enjoyed the crazy Mexico City’s Friday afternoon traffic.
I arrived in Comfort Inn hotel at 4 pm local time. Anyway I'd explain a little bit how come I was in Mexicó! It's because global entrepreneur summer school (check their blog www.globalsummerschool.org/blog) which was simultaneously hold in Münich, Mexico City and Shanghai. I did chose Mexico because, si--yes, Mexico is on my to visit list destination. This program is partial scholarship. It's held in a week in which they provided all the accommodation including this beautiful hotel in Santa Fe and 1 over ten participant got the reimburse for a half amount of their travel cost-- thank God I'm among one of the ten. I'm not gonna telling you about the summer school in this blog but rather to the travel experience.
Oh, okay one thing to be noted for you who wants to travel far overseas. Not all the charger adaptor are same. They even different all over the world. For example Indonesia has a couple of round holes for the electricity adapter. Australia has the same one but not in Mexico. It has a couple of thin and long holes in which I could not charge my electronic means. Turned into panic I rushed to the receptionist. After showing my charger she gave me the adaptor that can connect my charger to the electricity but I had to deposit 200 peso and that amount would be returned as I gave back the adaptor. So I only had one, because I need to manage my money before I received the travel cost reimbursement and I just realized that I did not bring a right charger for my phone. It was the broken one so It took more time to charge.
After a brief informal introduction in Hotel’s lobby some of us decided to have dinner in the mall. I was one who joined because I was craving for my first culinary experience. My first dinner in Mexico was taco with things inside the cow's bone which in Indonesia we called it sumsum.
Sumsum Tacos
For the beverage when few of us order a shot of tequila I chose a  beverage made of lime and sweet
ginger. In the middle of our mexican supper time, a group of mexican traditional band came with  guitar, cello and all music instrument that I-do-not-know-the-name. They played Mexican traditional music. They also played one of my favorite Latin songs: La Bamba. But too bad was too enjoying the performance, therefore I didn't record it. "So, your first dinner in Mexico; you've got the whole Mexican moment experience!" Said one of my German friend. Well, I hoped it's  a good sign for my adventure this time.

September 10th 2016

In the afternoon I figured out my nose bleed but it frozen inside. So, when I put tissue paper in my nose it turned to red as there’s blood in my nose. Perhaps it was because Mexico City itself is a high land. In addition I didn’t bring my body butter so I kept scratch my dried skin and left some giggling scars in the side of my belly, arms and legs. Another tips to face the extreme fluctuate whether overseas: consume more protein. The natural one is better, namely chocolate. The odd thing I found in the campus restroom today after my frozen bleed nose was the toilet itself. They don’t have the flush button. I found out that they’re automatically flushed right after you left the chamber. 
The traveling spirit ignored my physical condition. I insisted to have dinner with my new friends yesterday contrarily I was 'jet-lagged' due to my almost 30 hours flight. The impact was my physical condition was dropped. For lunch today we had subway and we had domino for dinner in the campus. Instead of going to Chapultepec with my room mate and the other friends I rather to stay on my bed. My fever was getting worse.But I was glad I did not join them to Chapultepec because instead of local food they spent the bucks for sushi. I had enough sushi in my hometown and recalling my previous overseas trip: I had more than enough Asian food. Mexican culinary needs to be explored.

September 11th

I had a very proper breakfast rather than yesterday and for lunch today we had taco! My second taco after that cow’s bone taco. I got two beef minced taco. They had nothing but the tortilla and beef itself, no veggie no sauce. They provided some types of salsa—sauce in small glass jars. Well, the taste was not rich as I expected. They salsas are also... unfamiliar. Not really spicy in my tongue. 
The weather today was awful. Thank to two pills of aspirin I had consumed this morning. I got better
today. I had to because we, surprisingly, were going to Coyoacan today! Because I left my glasses in the hotel today I could not see clearly and I would like to take my 'tustel' --my fuji DML camera with me to that touristic place, Mauricio took me to hotel by his car also with Louisa who wanted to take her SLR camera. On the way to Coyoacan we had a very interesting conversation; a young adult conversations regarding to oil company monopoly, corruptions and bribe in the developing countries (fyi Mouricio is a Mexican and Louisa is a German who recently lives in Ecuador), we also talk about capitalism and socialism system in a brief. We are not debating but we are discussing and sharing. It is a whole great conversation experience. Then, we arrived in Coyoacan and I saw beautiful houses there. Si! Amigos x siempre or Rosalinda ay amore! Well, they reminded me as well.  Mouricio explained us that the building in Coyoacan is the heritage of the colonial era. So, this is it the so-Spanish-area! We walked the street and watch people enjoy their afternoon in the cafe on the street with sunglasses and hospitality. We walked straight to the park and finally we gathered with our friends there. "We will go to Frida Kahlo Museum and window shop in the market today!" My Polish friend told me. Who is Frida Kahlo? Frida and Diego, her husband, were a socialist, they were artist--painter, but more than that they were revolutionist. Well, I aint talk about Frida a lot here. On our walk to the museo I bought my first real mexican churros! It was chocolate flavor.
The churros was crispy and mesmerizing. There were some options after arriving the museum that afternoon: visiting Museo de Frida Kahlo, walking around Coyoacan--the markets-- to window-shop and getting lost wherever you want. I'm not good at shopping. The last option sounds good... Oh, please I still have one or more day in Mexico to get lost besides I really was curious about this iconic woman; her occupation, her ideology, her tragedy it's a whole in one person. I must get in the museum even the queue was insane. One by one of us stepped out from the queue. It was only few of us. Why did they step out? Because the museum can only provided a hundred visitors so you have to be waiting. But we heard that you can buy the ticket online and can get in the shorter queue in the left of the gate. That's true. We left the super crazy queue and approached David and Rafa---our lecturer to discuss. Mich got the information and she could pay us the online ticket with her credit card so we could gave her cash. Good news for student card holder, you could got a discount. The normal price for entrance ticket is a hundred something peso and with student ID you only pay for 20 peso! It's good because my University student ID card never labelled the expired date, in fact I had my degree (not a student there anymore) about two weeks ago. Hence, it was 7 of us.
Museo Frida Kahlo on Sunday. Jeez.
Museo de Frida Kahlo used to be Frida house and it was such a beautiful house. It was in Sunday so it was pretty crowded but I pretty much enjoyed the minutes I spent there. Before leaving the museum we visited a small shop where all Frida souvenirs are sold. Of course the price is way pricey than you can find on the street or in the traditional market. My foreigner friends grab some stuffs to be bought, at first I did not interesting at all the store stuffs moreover when I saw the price tag. But when I stopped in the only one cashier table they have I glanced at a book. A diary of Frida Kahlo they have both English and Spanish version. I considered for a long breath. It pretty much costly; 550 peso. I still had more than that amount in my purse but it would not enough for a week stay, I wished the scholarship would be given the following day. With a no doubt I asked the staff to grab me the new book because the book in the display was miserable. I thought I would not find this Frida’s book in the local bookstore in my country. Maybe I found this book online but I don’t get use to buy the book online and here in the Museum, I didn’t guarantee I would come back, I had something to bring home to remember that I’ve been in Frida Kahlo’s resident.
Her House
After Kahlo, seven of us went to traditional market to window shop. The market was pretty much clean and I was fond of walking in that indoor area to see goods I’ve seldom seen before and also the area was not wide. I sacrificed my desire to buy the trifling things in the market for the precious diary. One interesting souvenirs my friends bought there is a thing named boyfriend catcher. For a long minutes we were trapped in the market due to the torrential rain outside, and the market supposed to close in a few minutes, it was about 5 PM. After the rain gradually stopped, we walked out and back to Coyoacan park. Coyoacan itself means Fox in Mexican hence there’s a fountain with statue of a group of Fox. We met the rest of our friends and lectures in a beautiful club in the right side of the park. I saw in the entrance a poster announcing a live gigs every Thursday. Hope I could enjoy a gigs in Mexico City.
We got in the school bus to traveled back to Campus to picked up some of our stuffs there and got back to the Hotel. When we’re waiting a friend who got lost, I tried my friends meal. She bought a glass of—soup(?)—containing corn and chili water tasted (again) like tobasco (it was pozole perhaps?). The taste was odd for me. The corn here was enormous, thrice bigger size than I can find in my country. For dinner I went to a small shopping centre close to Comfort Inn. We went there on foot. There were only two restaurants left: the Italian and Mexican. I hoped the Mexican please but more friends chose for the Italian but when we got there they prepared to close. So, we turned to the Mexican restaurant. I ordered for vegetarian taco. When it was served... I was not sure with that food. So green and white; cactus, green paper, fake cheese named panela and I did not recognize the others. When I got back to the hotel me and my room-mate shared of our each experience. “You don’t have to tell me the taste, I can read that from your face,” she shuddered at me. That was horrible. Well, actually, I can deal with the nopal---the green cactus. But those combination made me sick. Could I expect avocado? Or fresh tomato? Mushroom? Those would be nice I think.

September 12th

I had my second subway regular sandwich for lunch. Atun—tuna super tasty sandwich. We had lunch in the canteen and I tried my friend’s beverage which is made of fruit from cactus plant named tuna. So, my sandwich was filled with fish that we can called tuna or in mexican it named atun and I drank juice from a fruit named tuna. Got it? Well, okay, Coyoacan trip depleted my cash. I really had to count the money left in my wallet because they hadn’t gave me the scholarship to reimburse my travel cost. I had to wait for a few days and tried to stay alive during those days. Hence, I spent my Monday night by enjoying Mexican coffee in my hotel room, watched telenovela---indeed without subtitle, and wrote this blog by staring at Mexican busy city lights from my hotel room’s window ledge. Whereas my room mate went to the mall for shopping.

September 13th

One of my Mexican friends offered me lunch coupon; 89 peso for two subway’s regular sandwiches and two cookies.  What a very good offer. So that, I chose regular subway with oregano/herbs bread, chicken with orange cheese (just like McDonald’s cheese in their cheese burger), all type of vegetables and mayonnaise. I could say that so far that was the best Subway sandwich in the world I’ve ever tasted also the the white choco chips cookies was mesmerising. That supposed to be my third and my last Subways in Mexico. No more Subway’s.
Best Subway's
Such a long day in campus. We had ordered three uber to pick us from campus to Mexican wrestling game. Lukas, Klara, Gesa and Lorenzo went first. I'm going with Judith, Fatima and Sharruq. The third uber was not going to the wrestling game I did not know why. It was rain on the way to the wrestling match and I saw such a beautiful colorful houses on the hills. It took almost two hours to reach the venue. After we got there a guy offer us a ticket worth as 150 peso. Instead of buy that ticket we bought the official ticket from the ticket box worth as 50 peso, of course we sit in the back but that's better we could see the entire thing. In the venue there were a lot of seller. They sold beer and snack. The wrestler wore mask just like Ray Mysterio and hit each other. I saw lots of kids watch the match. At first I thought that why they allow kids to watch this kind of violence but then I realized it's not a violence. It's their heritage sport, in addition they look like dancing rather than attacking and no blood either. After watching that match we strolled the street. So, it is just eight of us. Craving for food. We stopped to try tacos street food. We chose Ricos Tacos.
Ricos Tacos: con salsa o no? Verde o roja?
I picked Suadoro taco which not contain pork yet I know it was not a 100% halal because they fry it in the same place. I'm not that conservative, I don't eat pork. I don't eat any part of its body. That's it. I added all kind of salsa (well, there are only two kind of salsa; verde e roja) and also added a chop of radish. Damn. Damn it. For days I've been in Mexico city eating a lot of taco; this this this is the best. The best taco I've ever eaten ever. Dirty food always be the best. The meat tasted so rich and a little bit oily. At first I just want to know the taste so I order one, then Lorenzo gave me one more and I ordered one more for me. It was just a bit, the taco was tiny. One taco is 5 peso. Crazy. Worth as 4k rupiah. After eating we were searching some club or bar. On our way we found a city park with playground and workout stuffs. Instead of the club we spent the rest of the night there. It was so much fun! There are lots of dog there to take a walk bonded by their owner. Well, it was like a quick throw back as a kid and one of us said "it's good being a kid. They're always think out of the box and creative."

September 14th 2016

Finally they gave me the cheque. I survived. The next day was gonna be Mexican Independent day. So today we were served for Mexican Gala dinner in campus. There were two kinds of drink that we can choose; Jamaica or Horchata. Jamaica is a kind of flower in Mexico and Horchata is made of rice milk and cinnamon. I chose Horchata. I just loved the rich taste. For dinner dish, for Heaven’s sake, finally I could eat rice and figured out that the size of the rice was twice as I had in Asia, then I recalled my trip to the traditional market in Coyoacan, yes they had bigger size. It’s not a white rice they gave a roja color. I also asked beef—or maybe it was chicken, I don’t really remember, with brown sauce perhaps in Indonesia I can call it Krengsengan but they’re not as sweet as Krengsengan. Also I asked a little for the green vegetable I didn’t note the name. In each of our table they provided a small basket of tortilla and various types of salsa. So in my plate I set the tortilla and filled it with rice and all I had in my plate and the red sauce. Tasted good. For the dessert we had sort of sticky rice with a pinched of nut, cinnamon and raisin. I liked that one, it’s plain and the sweet flavor only came from the raisin.

September 15th 2016

This day was Mexican Independent day. When it was Mexican independent day the bell in reforma was rung all day long. It meant that one bell was a call for one Mexican to join for a battle against the colonialist; Spain. In Mexico the day off was not in the due date of the independent day but the day after the independent day. So it’s not the 15th of September they have their day off but it’s September 16th. Today in Tecnologico de Monterrey there’re held a student bazar. Instead of bought a heavy lunch I’d rather to buy some Mexican snacks. The food I tried was looked like pastel in Indonesia but this one contains mozarella cheese inside.  Yum! The next one I didn’t really remember the name but it’s like thin fried bread with caramel around the surface. The last one was a cup of mint gelato, there would never be any wrong with gelato in the middle of the day especially for the independent day. Well, actually I considered to buy a sombrero, the Mexican hat there but I didn’t and spend the lunch time by talking with my friends, hearing the updated songs, adoring the independent’s day atmosphere and eating well.
queso empanada
Student the bazaar→
Most of us went to reforma for the independent day but we went in smaller groups partially. I left the hotel at about six or seven with my room-mate, 2 German guys, a Mexican girl and a Chinese girl. We went by Uber but in the middle of our way close to both the bus station and the train station, the traffic was getting worse. So, we stopped in the middle of the crazy traffic and strolled to the train station. I could feel the excitement of the independent day everywhere down the street; all about roja, blanco e verde--- red, white and green. Just like Mexico’s flag color. We bought for the subway (this time means the underground train) tickets; 3 peso per ticket. After we got in the train we stood and even it was crowded but it’s not as crowded as I imagined: the Jakartans KRL at its peak hour.
Viva Mexico!
We walked in the street side where there are benches made of rocks, some trees and the streets are accompanied with gigantic buildings. Capital city typical. It was pretty cold and I only wear a shirt and a jumper, a thin one but I could handle the cold whether after days spent here. We could see the red, white and green fireworks through the main street. We later arrived in the main roads where all vehicle were not allowed to pass. We were approaching to reforma to the heart of the ceremonial celebration. Yet, before keep strolling the beautiful night we stopped for dinner. All of us ordered a take away menu from El Califa Restaurant; a taco specialty except my room mate, she preferred to had Subway’s sandwich across the street. Since I had a little trauma with high end restaurants tacos, I ordered queso e rajas quesadilla. Similar with taco,quesadilla had tortilla with fillings but it was simply folded once just like you fold a piece of paper. As far I could remember the filling was cheese and... Cheese. Si, that is what queso means. I knew what queso means before I fly to Mexico and I don’t like food with an exaggerated cheese but this quesadilla smelt so good that I could not resist. We decided to had lunch outside so that we could watch the fireworks. Eventually, we sat in the parks path and I didn’t give a damn about the fireworks because I was starving and when I tilted or shrugged my chin all I could see were park trees. The park was right in front of the restaurant. They gave us too much salsas in a short plastic glass. There were four kind of salsas: tamarindo, roja, asada and verde. Not. Spicy. At. All. But for my foreigner friends, I could see that it was quiet spicy. Back to the independent day celebration. Our next stop was a public stage, where local people performed some performances such as singing Mexicans songs. I enjoyed the mini concert, moreover I danced with one of my German friends in the crowd. I could not stop giggling, he is 190cm. Too high for me and trust me I am short. Even in my country I can be classified as a short girl. It was a great struggle to reach his shoulder so I reached his waist instead. What a-weird-dancing-look but I had fun. Some old people were joining us then.
After dancing, we moved to the street and our German dudes bought a toy yet I don’t know the name. It looks like a tall and thin rocket—filled with helium and made of, I guess, plastic. So you can bounced it or throw it away and your friend could catch it. Our Mexican friend also bought a spray made of white thick foam--- other sort of birthday stuffs. I tried to avoid it but she sprayed that thing to my hair tho. Well, I did not mind to, this is their independent day, I should collide in the euphoria. So there we were joyed the night in our childish way; running and laughing. And so we strolled head to the main square. Along the main street I watched the statues replicated some figures and wondered who they are. Then I stopped after my room mate. We stopped for the posters portraying people and another posters white space were written with red blood ink. Who were those people in the posters? We insisted to asked our Mexican friend and she answered as enough as she knew. Those people were students who vanished after did a demonstration. The epoch was on September 23rd 2012, and until that time they still vanish--- no corpses found. Still wandering about the tragedy and wishing I could meet one of the activists in the tent to be interviewed, but we got to move on. And so we were just runaway on the empty road. I thought it was only four of us who ran. Just for fun. I missed jogging in my former home town in the morning after the dawn; both alone or with my friends. So there, in the independent night of Mexico I moved my legs as fast as I could; sensing the wind rhythm, filling my lung with cold air and warm enthusiasm, watching clear sky with fireworks and city-lights... Damn, I wish I brought my iPod shuffle.
We met the rest of our summer school friends close to the square and there we could see more tent sold mexican stuffs; confetti eggs, wigs, flags, snacks, sombrero and all stuffs in between. Lorenzo bought a super big sombrero, once I tried I lost my head. I did look nuts. Okay.  And so... we were in a big group of adolescent and in that super crowd environment we had to stick together. We walked in the crowd, so much closer to the venue. I in cognizant that this road is a high-end block; I saw beautiful European-style shops with familiar branded brands. Few blocks after, we eventually in the queue for the square. In the square we would see the royal family; the president, waving and giving speech perhaps, yes he must did. But the crowd was insane. It was just like the queue for Slank concert (fyi: Slank is one of Indonesia popular bands). Well, actually, I never went to Slank concert and I don’t think I would like to go but it seems as crowded as this one. I once went to Avril Lavigne concert but the crowd was so much less than this. With a quick decision the majority of us decided not to get in the square. But the two Germans insisted. So, we walked down the street looking for a screen where we could see the ‘live streaming’. I saw some streets were blockaded by the police. And after we found a TV from the street restaurant we stopped and watched the ceremony for several minutes in addition Diego told us about the presidents. We could see the huge fireworks in the television spread from our right side. We spent the rest of the time by walking the streets around reforma and got in our own chaos. It was started by Juddy who bought the confetti eggs and spank it on one of our friends head and Zarah who sprayed the white foam to us. Well, we had so much fun. Viva, Mexico!

September 16th 2016

The Mexicans day off was today. However, I woke up a little bit early. A familiar song, recognized as our morning anthem, overwhelmed the entire room after I got out from the bathroom, satisfied with the hot water from the shower before facing the cold air outside. I smiled and wondered how fast these days had passed. Maybe that morning would be the last time I heard this ‘moodboost’ song from my room-mate smart phone, so I asked her “who does perform this song?” She stared at me. “This song?” She asked again then I nodded. “Chainsmoker,” she answered with her so beautiful Brittish accent. Ah, Closer. I nodded again.
That day was the last day of the Summer School event: the final pitch. While my room mate was being hectic with her sophisticated white professional outfit and make up things, I was leaving for breakfast with my pajamas, cardigan and sandals. There were not many student in breakfast room, perhaps there were only 5 of us and one of the lecturers from Germany, because it’s too early. As always my favorite was chilaquiles, it’s a must thing in my breakfast plate.
It was such a long day at campus and we had Domino again for lunch. This time they ordered the potato wedges with cheese sauce. I ate more pizza than the last time we had Domino for dinner. And I found out that even the chili sauce color and taste was different with the one in Indonesia. Of course they have the same texture but the color was more pale and the taste was more stronger---tobasco, si, similar.
After the final pitch and the winner announcement we were served with a simple farewell party. There were mexicans traditional light foods and snacks and for drinks I had no options but soda. Before trying new dish I always asked to my Mexican friends whether it was pork or not. So I more confident to tried the sweets and the light snacks in which I found, here in my country it is called opak. One of my favorites. They had it with few nuts (maybe pistachio) and a tip of caramel.Mister Daniel Moska, the managing director of Tecnológico de Monterrey Entrepreneurship Institute, and one of the judges, was a nice man. He could say ‘one two three’ in Indonesia because he had a good friend came from Indonesia when he was in Canada for a conference  or a some kind of study. He was so welcomed when he knew that I am Indonesian. He also gave me a tiny sombrero that you can use it has a key-hanger.
See that opak?
For the final farewell we decided went to a rooftop beer house. The basement of the building was a fresh market that sell fresh meat and vegetable but they already closed. Actually, it was a beautiful place but we could not find a proper meal remembering it is a beer house. So, I look for dinner in another place with the three girls; English, Germany and Pakistani. But my f friend has moved to Canada since she was a kid so she had double citizenship. Since three of us are muslims and one of us is a vegan it needed more effort to find a proper place to eat. Along side of the block consist of bars or beer houses with various types. So we walked to the next road and found a Taco restaurant in the corner of the next block. The restaurant is quite small, warm and comfortable--- and I didn’t note the name. Only one of us who speak spanish so it look long time for us to decide the food and we were keep asking the waiter what does that mean, what does this mean. All of us had different choises where I decided to choose pita bread consists of beef and some kind of mexican herbs. Maybe it took an hour---or more for us having dinner because we had such a quality time together. We more talked about parents. Here I understood the perks of having family with a stricht cultural and religious paradigm but you were raising in western countries or the advantageous having parents with liberal culture to form independent and resposible personality. I knew it still takes a long time to get there but I started to deeply contemplate how to raise my future kids since then. Being an open minded mom sounds wise but how to take care of them without limit their freedom of thinking---reasoning---sensing?
As we finished having our quality time we’re back to the farewell venue. Moreover David and Rafa were there too. All of us were having conversation and also there was a soccer board in the corner of the venue. When it reached midnight, few of us decided to go back to the hotel, so did I.

September 17th 2016

I woke up dawn in the morning and my room-mate was preparing for her flight back home to the UK. I gave her a hug and frowned because I can’t hear the Chainsmoker’s song from her phone anymore but I still can download it anyway. After she left, I prayed fajr then I got back to sleep but I failed. Craving for food, I went down to grab my last breakfast in the hotel. I finally knew where to stay for the rest of my hours in Mexico. I would stay in a hostel around Reforma with three of my friends; a german, danish and chinese. I joined breakfast with two friends from Germany and Austria. We sat in the table close to the wide window showing the beauty of Santa Fe’s Saturday drowsy morning face; the haze, the fading mist and the morning peach light over the mini forest and the skyscrapers around the hotel. What a breath-taking view. I sliced my omelette not eat them but to check what’s inside and it was ham. I took it aside my plate and enjoyed my beloved both roja and verde chilaquiles, pancake with mapple syrup and a cup of hot black coffee. I also had tropical fruits with cornflakes as my buffet dessert. I had decided to left the hotel early and join the two friends to meet their Mexican friend in Reforma although they didn’t know yet what their gonna do. It’s better to explore the center of the city than cuddling ---alone, in the hotel cozy bed. So I packed all my stuffs as fast as I could and it was so messed but pretty quick. I had to return the adaptor and got back my 200 peso before joining the two friends in basement, waiting for uber.
We went to the hostel first before meeting their friend. The uber driver gave us tour along the drive. He explained that we were passing the houses of ministry, ex-presidents and other wealth people in Mexico. Such beautiful houses. We also passed the Museum of Anthropology, the national football court and one of ministries building showing black and white big pictures along its black fence. We arrived in a crowded area, the road was not as wide as the main road. The hostel was so beautiful and tranquil but we’re not gonna stay in that building but in the building right opposite to it. We did not check in yet because we will check in with two of our friends in who still sleep in Santa Fe. So we just deposited out luggage and stuffs there.
Mexico City Hostel: Where I stayed
We walk cross the street and saw a double decker tourist bus which interested me and my Austrian friend. She walked to the open tent where we could buy the ticket to ask the brochure. We also crossed the square where the independent ceremonial celebration was held few days ago. My German friend was there and he told us his experience. Finally, we got in the subway station to reach Chapultepec. After a while we walked out the station following the salida—exit board. The spanish words now seemed more familiar for me. Strolled faster in familiar street, we arrived in a park where the Mexican girl waited. She was a nice person and guided us to Chapultepec castle. Before entering the castle we had to walk across the park and there is a monument with seven statues of figure. I could not keep asking my Mexican friend. After the park, which was crowded with people spending their weekend, we were walking ascended to the castle. The path pretty wide and made of natural stone serving beautiful Mexico City view in the right side, and the gigantic cliff in the left side. Once again I had a quality time with my Austrian friend about family. Another good reference for me to raise children in the future. I also had a fun conversation with my Mexican new friend as we could saw a shade of amusement park in the heart of Mexico City up there.
park view from Chapultepec castle balcony
We finally in the queue for the entrance, one ticket worth 65 peso and if you bring your camera you had to add 45 more. But due to my immortal student id, I moved to another queue which is not long at all because it’s free entry for the student card holder. The lux castle belonged to Austrian emperor named Maximilian who was invited to Mexico by liberal government to spread the idea of liberalism but he was fall in love with Mexican culture instead. There we saw the paint, the clothes, wagon and other museum stuffs. We then arrived in the castle balcony. I did contemplate by seeing the breath-taking view and latter joining my friends talking about rapid development Mexico City had. I also asked my Mexican friend about their government and I did not forget what I saw in the night of Mexican independent day; the figures of lost people in along the street. She knew better about it and she satisfy my curiosity. After the balcony we walked outside and we got in another entrance, ascended the lux stairs and faced the beautiful garden. The grass was cut neatly and there’re few mini fountains with a statue in the middle of it. After having a little light talk there we left the castle and walked descend the path back to the park. The mexican friend returned home, the austrian decided for the tourist bus whereas me and my german friend got back to the hostel meeting the danish and chinese girls. I bought tamarindo popsicle sold by an old man, which it seemed a home-made ice. It was not what I expect; too much synthetic sweetening.
The Park inside Chapultepec Castle
After minutes we spent in train---we got in the wrong train once, but my friends intuition was good, we got back to the hostel and went check in. We four got a room together. There were two stack beds in that small room. One stack consists of two beds. And thank God they had stop contacts that can be used by all plug around the world so I did not need to find the adaptor. We stored our luggage in a big locker with no lock across the bed.
all in stop contact
So we went to the airport by uber because we had book a car to rent in the airport area. After picked by a big van in the airport, we arrived in the car rental and the administration took hours. They should implement more effective method for the rental procedure. I could see inconvenient in my Germany friend who booked the car. It almost 3 pm and I bet we would not have enough time in Teotihuacan but we finally got there. One of the most iconic destination in Mexico and I saw the pyramids several time in Beautiful Destination’s instagram account. It was Sunday and a little cloudy but the dry wind concealed us. There were a lot of visitors, mostly were a group of both extended family and nuclear family. There are two type of pyramids namely luna pyramides (the moon) and soil pyramide (the sun). The lunas are smaller than the soil. There were some luna pyramides and only one soil pyramide. I would love to observe the luna pyramid ruins around the soil but I need more time and less people around so I followed my fellows hiked up to the sun pyramid. At a glace of my quick observation, I could see the structure of the pyramids and one of the markedly materials was pebbles.
fabiayiala irobikuma tukadhiban?
After minutes we reached the top of the main pyramid! Hurrah! Taking few pictures, I more likely to sit and watch the earthly scenery. These Aztec people were wicked. They could build this amazing construction precisely and so people in Egypt with the other pyramids also ancestors in Indonesia who established Borobudur. The smart civilization in the ancient past always attract me. Having conversation with my international friends up there recalling me that I didn’t have any proper meal after breakfast in Santa Fe hotel. We walked to the parking area and my German friend got a brochure of a restaurant close to the site.
El Ranchito indeed is a family restaurant, as I could remember the price was reasonable. We chose the outdoor side so I could absorb the sense of so-telenovela restaurant; tables with ivory colored umbrella, trees, live music by a man who played mexican traditional music with his guitar and a peaceful afternoon sky. I ordered pescado (fish) with arroz (rice) and mixed vegetable and for the beverage I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. There are not many options for food which is not contain pork. I was fully satisfied with my cuisine. The fish was so tender and if I was not mis-heard the name was siera fish. It’s not too fishy like the freshwater fish. I left nothing in my plate and my friend said “somebody’s starving here.” Man, I’m always starving. I want to review a little about the salsa, this salsa is the most different salsa I tasted during my journey in Mexico. It’s more oily, stronger and there were peanuts and sesame. I didn’t claim it as my favorite but it’s kind of different type of sauce you can find in Mexico and it was not for the tacos. So far, I added more salsa in my place than the three of my friends. For me, spicy sauce--- the traditional one is the best trigger of having eating appetite.
El Ranchito
We parked the car far from the hostel because there are no parking space around the hostel. The official parking area around Reforma are also costly, so we parked our car in front of a small restaurant, in a semi secluded block and paid someone for about 30 peso. I was a little bit insecure and hoped it was safe there. We were walking to the hostel and seeing the city was crowd by the people who wanted to spend their Saturday night. The city was so alive. We crossed the park and I could recognize some places according to our prior strolls. When we turned to the alley where the hostel located, something thrilled me in excitement. It must be a live music! Where the hell was that? I could not find the entrance. As soon as we ascended to our hostel, I asked the receptionist. What kind of live music was and where the was that, the precise direction. It was across the street place names Oasis. I got in my room left my backpack and picked some stuffs and got out, rushed to the gigs. I walked alone down the street, ignoring the cold air. I knew my fellow are not kind of people who love rock live music since the first time I met them so I didn’t have to ask them to accompany me, otherwise I need my me time. I just told them that I want to see the live music in the pub across street. I got id card and mini notebook with pen in the back of my jeans pocket also I had 50 peso in the other side. No cell phone no camera. I got in Oasis where there is beautiful wooden stairs with white walls and white ceiling. I entered the venue and it was not as I expected; not the venue itself (because it was quiet homey and not big) but the audience. It was not as crowd as I expected. There are a group of people in a table back close to the restroom and a guy sat alone in a side of table. I chose the table in front of the stage. A waiter with black outfits gave me the menu then. They sell dinner too, but I scrolled to the beverage. After seeing several minutes I said “diet coke” to him. No more options, they only sell alcohol drinks and cans of cola. In the mini stage I could see three men, around 30 year old perhaps, with black long hair and black outfit started to perform Nirvana’s song; my favorite one Come as You Are. In the back of the stage area I could see the decoration written “Wings and Beer. Mexican Pub.” After Nirvana, they had a break and left the stage. So I moved to the table in the balcony. The first thing I saw was the coffee shop in front of the building named La Parroquia de Veracruz. Then I recalled to the Veracruz coffee that I had decided for someone but I hadn’t buy the coffee yet. And so, I glance around seeing the Mexico city night; the silenced european style buildings around, the cold street made of rocks, the hurly-burly out there across the square, the city lights far there and the hollow windows with no lights across the street. The band came again and they performed their own songs with the mexican spanish language I didn’t understand. The songs are pretty cool where I regret to not bringing my phone to record the moment. Yet, I did not move from where I sat, so did not see the performance. I only enjoyed it by listen. I wrote a lot of thing in my note book. Ideas, resolutions, self-evaluation, poetry and all thought I had that night.
Hostel's balcony view: see that balcony across the street with Mexican flag? That's where I sat at the gigs night.

September 18th 2016
a Tranquil Sunday Morning in City Center
I woke up at seven and it was still early morning. We immediately left the hostel. This time only three of us because that my chinese friend had her flight leave Mexico. Nevertheless, an acquaintance would join us. He came from Frankfurt, German. He had internship in Latin America and he had spent some days in Mexico. Three of us walked in the street to the place where we parked the car. Centro was so peaceful in the late morning with ringing bell from the cathedral.
On our way we stopped at cafe named El Popular to buy something for breakfast. I chose a slice of apple pie for me. Tasted good. I ate it all with the morning  Mexico City calmness when we were waiting for the acquaintance. He finally came and we continued to walk approach our car.
Mineral del Real
Our first destination was a small town named Mineral del Real. On our way I told them that one of my big reason why I wanted to visit Mexico so bad since I was a kid was due to The Killers music video for their song ‘When you Were Young’. Too bad I could not visit the music video site but the scenery I saw that time was enough to satisfy my; the houses on the hills below the clear blue sky.
We finally arrived in Mineral del Real; such a lovely town. The have houses and shops with eye-catching pastel colors. We wandered around the small city and discovered a small cafe named Sepia.

I ordered espresso and enjoy the morning breeze. After enjoying the morning time we walked around and I stopped to buy churros. This time the filling was raspberry. Actually it was a mistaken, I intended to ask the seller (that old man doesn’t speak English anyway) about what is that and this means but he didn’t catch that so he gave me the first flavor I said to ask. Well, raspberry not bad but I preferred my first churros in Coyoacan. As we walked we stopped at some shops; the souvenir, craft and artisan shops.
Prismas Basalticos
The next destination was Prismas Basalticos. The entrance ticket was bought once you enter your car in Prismas Basalticos area. We walked from the parking area followed the direction where the waterfall is. We were in the side of the cliff and I could see beautiful rocks down there. We saw the bridge leads us to the other side and there were stairs lead to the prismas. From the bridge we could see the prismas and it was not as big as in the google and of course it was on Sunday so it was pretty crowded down there. I also saw people do the flying fox, flied above the rocks valley. In the side of the long stairs descend to the prism there were many sellers; drinks, snacks, mainstream souvenirs and so on. One of our friends bought a mango with a wood stick, so it looked like a popsicle and it was poured with... Hmm, I don’t know what to say it’s a powder, red, tasted sweet-sour-a little spicy. Nice taste I liked it. So we descended to the waterfall had a look around and walked ascend. One of the German guys asked for the flying fox. “I’ll go if it cost less than 60 peso,” I said to the danish girl. She in the other hand, decided not to do the flying fox. In fact, the flying fox only cost 50 peso for two flies; go and return. So I gave my bag to my danish friend and she waited us on the grass next to the flying fox gazebo. So I flied yelling freely stared at the beautiful prisms!
Beautiful paint on the Rock, aside the hill
The last destination was another small town named Mineral del Monte. During our trip we stopped several times to adore the beautiful view; we saw hidden waterfall down the ravine, artsy paint on the mountain side. The cloud was getting darker as the Waze app led us to Mineral del Monte. We parked our car and we had name for him; Eichhörnchen--- Damn. Such a tough word to pronounce, in front of the police station.

We looked for restaurant to have lunch. We stopped again in the artisan shops, the sell more cute stuffs but this place have a little more fortune for the cost. We decided for a the Spanish look restaurant and sat in the porch side so we could admire the town houses in front of us. I ordered a soup consisting something but after I asked the waitress I recognized it has same ingredient with gnocchi and also they add vegetables there and I was curious with a vegetable named calabaza. As I figured out in google it was calabash or another kind of pumpkin. This calabaza was so tiny and tasted like gambas—Indonesia’s vegetable. And for the gnocchi (well actually it was not) it was more cheesy so it was so elastic but tasted good.
La Sopa
Well, finally I had to say goodbye and thank you to Mexico. It gave me its best scenery--- the best I’ve ever seen, on our way to Benito Juarez Airport. It was the green rolling hills and the flawless asphalt road. Well, but I was anxious about something; the traffic. I thought rationally because it was on Sunday and people got out for leisure. And so we were trapped in the traffic due to the accident. I stared at Corona factory in the left side and found some topics to talk with our German buddy who drives where the two others rested in sleep. Last twilight sky I saw was in the drop off airport. I hugged all of my friend thanked them and reminded them to visit Indonesia some other time.
I rushed to the airport asked people where to check in. In the check in counter I forgot where I placed the document when I first came to Mexico. The form stated the purpose I visit Mexico. It took minutes to found it in my luggage. Fiuh! If I lost it I had to pay 150 peso, or more I didn’t remember the exact number. I still have at least 15 minutes before the boarding gate open. I came into a shop close to the check in counter. I looked for a can of coffee named Cafe Punta del Cielo, where I had found in Tec de Monterrey campus but they don’t sell the can packaging and I want the can one. They suggested to buy in supermarket such as walmart but I had no time eventually for a market shop, I also visited minimarket in front of Oasis after the gigs and I didn’t meet what I need. Here finally I had saw many types of that can of powder coffee. My Mexican friend who keens on coffee suggested me for Veracruz coffee but, damnit, they ran out that one so I had to quickly decide the alternative because I was aware that the checking gates would take times and I did not have much time. I grabbed it and paid to the cashier. The price must be worth thrice than in walmart. Adios! Another annoyed thing, the dude in the checking gate asking me a lot of trifle things. He was so hospitable just like other mexicans but please I was in a rush. I almost miss my flight!
Sunny day, wasn't it?

September 19th 2016

Flied over gulf of Mexico heading to Amsterdam again. I thought Mexico was not bad at all after all people thought that it is a terrifying country with mafia and drug cartel. In fact this exotic country’s people are hospitable and religious. In addition, I got more travel experience than I expect: Frida Kahlo, lucha libre, the hostel, the small towns, the gigs, the government political situations, the-Viva-Mexico-day and so on. Moreover, the Summer School experience outside the curriculum materials; gaining some perspective toward a lot of things from young folks around the world and figured out that travel far miles away from your country and speak more than 2 languages are not a ‘wow’ things for young people at my age in some parts of the world. My French, Pakistan and Moldova friends study in Canada. My Afghanistan and Slovenia friends study in Texas. My Chinese friend studies in London, my two of my Germany friends study their final year in Ecuador and Argentina. Some other had traveled a lot, around the world, to all the continents. It’s also a common thing to travel alone whatever fuck your gender is.

Mexican holiday was the lowest budget so far excluding the flight. The most expensive expense was Frida Kahlo’s diary which is so worth the price--- and the Cafe Punta del Cielo. Yes, indeed it is because they provide the accommodation; 9 nights in 4 star hotel including breakfast, they provide the transportation to and from the campus and also they provided some lunch and dinner. However, I ate well there and I bought anything that I need to buy. Several things to be noted for the next trip (particularly for myself who has a pretty weak antibody): bring more B complex vitamin, find out the stop contact type, exercise enough before the trip, a full charge iPod and digital camera. Hell I did not have enough music for this trip.

Adios, amigos!