Hello, everyone! I think it has been too long since the last time I wrote here (it’s August already, isn’t it?). Just a quick update, after I finished my internship, I traveled for a little bit to Prague, Vienna, and Paris, before I flew home from Paris, just in time for Eid. So, the past two weeks have been a roller coaster for me: experiencing three different cities and their uniqueness, taking three different flights –while worrying about missing my connecting flight because of delay, adjusting back quickly because I came to visit my big family right away in Jogja for Eid, dealing with jetlag and reverse culture shock, and of course, being patient with the limited and slow internet.
Before it’s too late, I would like to say Eid Mubarak to my Muslim brothers and sisters, please forgive me if there’s anything I did/ said that hurt you. Let’s keep up doing good deeds as what we did during Ramadan.
So, I will start slowly. With Prague. A beautiful city in Czech Republic, and so far, there is no city like this one.
On Friday the 18th, I finally finished my internship at Jacobs University. I am really thankful for what they have done to me: allowing me to be a part of their group, sharing with me about Germany and its academic world, and teaching me about supply chain disruption field. On that day, our workgroup had a workshop at Martinshof, with other people from Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, to work on their CSR project. Martinshof itself is a really interesting place. It’s a workplace for people with disability, where they produce different parts for different companies. For instance, they work with Mercedes-Benz to provide a lid for something at the bottom of the car (they were talking in German the whole time, so I didn’t really get what they said most of the time). It was really interesting to see all the modified machines and tools to fit the workers’ needs. High number of production is not their target, but the workers’ feeling of being able to do what ‘normal’ people could do; that they are worthy. After the workshop finished, I got a little farewell present from the workgroup: Bremen ruler, and magnetic thing for fridge (what is it called?) that looks really ‘logistics engineering’.
|Luck, power, love, fun, joy, courage, in logistics engineering way.|
The day after, I left Bremen-Schönebeck really early, trying to catch my train to Hamburg, then to Berlin, then to Prague. I had a mixed feeling: I couldn’t believe how I grow attached to this place in a relatively short amount of time, eight weeks, but at the same time, I was ready to go home and spend time with my family and friends.
It was a long trip. I was waiting in Berlin for two hours because I missed the train to Prague by 10 minutes. When I arrived in Prague, I was lost. I had oriented myself with Prague map and how to get to the hostel from Praha hlavni nadrazi (central station), but I didn’t know how the city transportation work (and how the tram ticket machine only accepts coins, while at that time I only had some cash from the ATM!). So, I ended up dragging my suitcase and two carry-ons to hostel, which was about 20 minutes away. Thanks to my inability to pack light, and my circumstances of staying semi-permanent in a place. First lesson, Titan, travel light.
|My first ever Czech train! Berlin-Prague.|
Honestly, it was my first stay at a hostel. The one in Heidelberg doesn’t count, since it was reserved by the DAAD program director. So, I shared a room with 11 other people, of course, since my budget is really tight. After unpacking necessary stuff and locking my important belongings, I walked outside to enjoy Prague.
Prague, is a really beautiful little city. Everything is within walking distance; I literally walked from one tourist spot to the others. There are also so many street musicians who are very talented. Most part of Prague is really old, and the streets are made of cobblestones. I felt like I was thrown to another century, or a bedtime story setting.
I also visited some synagogues (there are so many of them), and even an old Jewish cemetery. Jews used to be a significant part of the city, until Hitler came with his invasive plan of wiping out the Jews. When I visited a ceremony hall near the cemetery, there was a small exhibition of how Jews prepare the deceased before burying them. Their ritual is interestingly similar to Muslims’, and some terms are the same, such as taharah. I also saw Prague castle, and Charles River (I know right, it’s the same name as the one in Boston!). Old Town Square was really fascinating, because there were just too many tourists (and too many interesting artists trying to attract tourists). From expensive Italian restaurants, to giant bubble maker; from segway tour guide, to the smell of roasted pork knee/ knuckle (a Prague must-try food); everything was in this square.
|No pork knee for me, instead, this is traditional Czech food that I got. I forgot the name, but it was a mixed of scrambled eggs and toasted dumpling-like bread. It was good, but the portion was too big for me.|
On a side note, the hostel where I stayed was really noisy with drunk people. I am a morning person, and I always go to bed early (well, most of the time) and get my minimum of 7 hours of sleep. So, I was really disturbed, but I could do nothing about that. When I woke up in the middle of the night to pray, a girl was approaching me in the bathroom, and she talked to me randomly about how she had a relationship for three years (of course she was drunk), and how she wished her boyfriend would do a Eurotrip with her. Oh, well, second lesson, Titan, there is a reason why Islam prohibits drinking alcohol even for a drop.
When I went to Wenceslas Square, there was an Indian festival, there. It was, really strange, to be in Europe, and saw women in sari, a large offering for Hindu God (I believe it was for Shiva), and naan (an Indian bread that accompanies the main meal) everywhere.
Do you know one thing that I really miss from Prague? Its beautiful red-and-blue street sign. Unlike in most places I have visited (Indonesia, the US, Germany), where the sign stand on itself at the corner of the street, Prague street sign is on the wall of a building near the corner of the street. Sometimes, in a busy road where the buildings are not in order, it can take some time to find the sign.
These pictures will tell you better how beautiful Prague is. If you come to Prague, definitely try to sit in the square watching people, tourists, and their tour guides for at least an hour, see Charles River from the bridge, explore Prague Castle, and just wander around Prague alleys and narrow roads, and get lost for a while. You never know what Prague might offer you in one deserted corner; whether it is a fellow traveller who shares the same root as you, a beautiful crystal and merchandise store, an interesting museum, or a really yummy gelato.
|Astronomical clock, one of top overrated tourist spots in Europe. There are so many tour guides willing to take you around this area, though.|
|Old Town Square!|
|Charles River, and Prague Castle. I walked from here to the castle.|
|A view of Prague from Prague Castle.|
Prague, I will come back again, soon!