Nostalgia of First Overseas Trip

By being the closest sovereign country from Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore has been the destination of overseas trip for many Indonesian live in Jakarta, including myself.

Before the advent of low-cost carrier, overseas trip for Indonesian has been very expensive. In addition to prohibiting airfare, Indonesian need to pay the exit tax each time we went overseas, which added to overall cost. While it wasn’t really out of reach for our middle class family, it was definitely not one of the priorities.

So, my first overseas trip only happened after I graduated, and started working for multinational company. I got a chance to attend a conference in Singapore for my first overseas trip, with all expenses paid by the company.

It was a mixed feeling of happiness and anxiety. With young blood flowed in my vein, I was so happy with the adventure to foreign country. At the same time, I was also anxious of speaking another language than my mother tongue, of finding direction (while google already exist, goggle map was not even in the pipeline), of using foreign currency, any many more.

Singapore Flyers at Night

Of course, over the year, the facade of Singapore has changes significantly. The most notable one is in the Marina Bay area, dominated by Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands. Still, each time the plane touch down at Singapore Changi Airport, it always feel like my younger self going overseas for the first time.

This post is written in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Edge of the Sea

From the top of Pasumpahan Island, the ocean that separate Pasumpahan and main land look swim-able. Especially in such clear sky and pollution free sky of West Sumatra.

Edges of the Ocean

However, don’t be deceived by it. Look at the hut on the left, and the boat mooring in between. It is actually some serious strait to swim. Especially if you take into account the current.

Not something that is not swim-able though…..

This post is made in response of WordPress Photo Challenge: Edge

The Beach Reflection

With black instead of white sands, Parangtritis beach in South Yogyakarta might not qualify as picture perfect beach. It is also a bit dirty from natural and human made garbage. However, the gentle sloped beach allows the wave and surf to reach quite far inland, washing away some garbage. And in the perfect evening sunlight, the sea water turns the black sands into a mirror.

Beach Reflection

This post is made in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Mirror

The Remains of Olympic Games

The Rio Olympic Games 2016 will start in around 2 weeks. Upon realizing this, I was reminded to an article about the fate of building and facilities which were used as venues for Olympic Games. Some got re-purposed as apartments, or indoor garden. But most of the facilities left to decay due to enormous amount of money needed to maintain the facility. Some even witness the brutality of war, against the spirit of peace brought by modern Olympic Games.

Few years ago, I got a chance to visit Beijing National Stadium and Beijing National Aquatic Center, or often nicknamed “Bird Nest” and “Water Cube”. Beijing host the 2008 summer Olympic, and Beijing National Stadium was the venue of the opening and closing ceremony.

Beijing National Stadium

I came at night, and didn’t get a chance to go inside as the venue is already closed. Instead, we were presented with different color of lights that coming out from the Bird Nest. In the plaza right in front of it, people take pictures of the unique structures. Others just sit at the benches lining up the plaza, having a chat, drinks or dinner.

The Beijing National Aquatic Center, right next to Beijing National Stadium was also spectacular. Its bubble-like surface glowing with different colors of mostly blue and purple. Similar like Beijing National Stadium, many people crowd the plaza next to it for pictures

Beijing National Aquatic Center

Those two buildings, the Beijing National Stadium and Beijing Aquatic Center, are among the few survivors of Olympic Venues. Even in China, not all venues of 2008 Olympic survive the test of time. A waste, maybe. And I hope most of the venues in Rio 2016 Olympic will survive the test of time, just like The Bird Nest and The Water Cube

This post is made for WordPress Discover Challenge: The Things We Leave Behind

Not a Tourist, Not a Backpacker