#11 Europe Chapter 2 : Passion, Blessing or Curse?

This is one things that circling around my head, looking at those talented street performer during my trip in Europe. In Indonesia, being street performer means being the second class or even the third class in the society. They are consider as the fail one. The “normal” people would work in the office, behind the desk, earn monthly salary. While street performer are “beggar” make a living from others charity. I guess in Europe it would be different. I believe European society treat them better, more than just a beggar, but still…… not “normal”. I guess most people thinks that performance belongs to the stage. When the performer can not make it to the stage, they better drop it, and start to work something “normal”, such as bank clerk or something like that.

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OK, let’s talk about street musician. Unlike what is commonly we have here in Indonesia -called as pengamen– the street musician in europe really are talented. May be for a master, they just play average, but for average passer by like me, they surely talented. The most important is, they are entertaining! So, while walking down the old town, we could heard some good live music in between the buildings, isn’t it great??

Meanwhile, most of pengamen in Indonesia sing badly, sometimes they are so bad to be called as music. No proper instrument, no proper song, nothing to be called as performer. They are more like beggar to me. Some of them really could hit some tune, but they would sing just 1 bar, ask some money and go. That’s not really entertaining, guys……. Sometimes they sang 1 full song, but the lyrics is not entertaining. It is either dirty song about young divorced lady hungry for love, or provoking song about poor people VS rich people. Nice……

In indonesia, street performer is just a bit more than beggar. They are definitely not a musician. They have no pride to be a musician.

So…… when a musician or group of musician really are talented, why are they on the street? I’ve never really talk to them, they were busy playing music when i met them, hahaha. But i guess… it is pretty obvious. There are many people are talented in music, but… the industry only took a few of them. It is not just about talent here, it is also about opportunity, luck, and perhaps choice. Not all talented musician could have a spotlight, and earn popularity. Every year, thousand of thousand talented performer joining the line to the star search show, of course most of them got rejected. We know, some of them are street musician, like Klantink in Indonesia. Even though they got lucky to enter the competition and won, still there are no guarantee for an easy life. Lots of them end up as one hit wonder, and disappear as the new performer took over their spotlight.

I think, this is why there are lots of good performer end up on the street. When their passion is music, and there a no proper stage for them to perform, why not embrace the street as stage? Most of talented musician who are not make it to the industry, end up taking regular job, and visit their music interest occasionally as hobby. But….. some are not. Some are decided to play music professionally several hours per day, on the street.

This is not just about musician. There are many kind of performer embrace street as their stage. I saw good couple of acrobat performer on red light in Brussels. They perform during the red light, entertain the driver while waiting for the light. A few moments before the light turn green, they would bow, and “picked up” their “payment” from the cars windows. To me, they works professionally as acrobat performers, just the same with the acrobat performers in cirque du soleil, or those who works in Las Vegas theater.

Again, those circus people could have just work behind the desk, of counter, just like “normal” people, but they choose to follow their (again) passion. Works professionally as acrobat performer, no matter what kind of stage they got.

So, passion, is it blessing or curse?

 

#9 Europe Chapter 2 : Dachstein ice cave, is it worth?

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This is the reason i brought 2 bulge things in my backpack. 1# is my hiking booth, and 2# is big heavy jacket. I want to visit Dachstein ice cave!! According to the web, i need to wear robust shoes and warm clothing, as the temperature would go from below 0 to maximum 4 Celsius. Knowing me, the one that have been living in equator forever, i took this seriously. 

Dachstein actually have some attraction, not just the ice cave. There are also another cave (not ice), viewing points, trekking path, and during winter, this area become skiing spot. The easiest way to reach the area is from Obertraun, and Salzburg. There are some ice cave in Austria, including Werfen, near Salzburg that claimed to be world’s biggest ice cave. So, why did i choose Dachstein instead of Werfen? Easy…… cos i decided to stay 2 nights in Obertraun, while dachstein cable car and visitor center is just 2.10 EUR -one way- by bus number 543 from obertraun! If you are not staying overnight in Obertraun, you can just jumped to the train to Obertraun, and take the bus from there to cable car. The bus stop is just stone thrown away from the station. If you came from hallstatt, you can also take the bus 543 from Hallstatt Lahn terminal to the cable car.

To reach the ice cave, we need to take cable car. This cable car have 3 tiers. The ice cave is in the first tier. It is definitely not a cheap destination! Here is the price

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I embrace my financial condition by choosing the ticket cost 28.80 EUR, to the ice cave only, (cable car ride included). The cable car ride was awesome, even though it was only to the first tier! Anyway, it was quite rainy and cloudy, i was afraid the view from five finger viewing point would be blocked.cable-car

From the first tier, we need to walk quite a bit (i mean climb up) to the cave entrance. Not too hard actually, around 15min walking. The track might quite steep, but no worries, the beautiful yet refreshing alps scenery would help you to forget the tough walk, hehehe. On this first tier, there are 3 small museum, -or i might call them information huts, cos it is rather small to be called as museum- about the cave itself, flora and fauna around the area.

museumThese information huts are well maintain, yet informative. Well, actually all the facility on the area are well maintain and nicely built. At some point, the price we have paid to get into Dachstein area become more and more make sense….. Of course it is still expensive, but at least it is worth the money.

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The ice in the cave is formed by water which seeps from the Dachstein plateau down into the cave through small cracks and joints in the cliff.  When outside temperatures are above freezing the caves still contain really cold air, so the penetrating water freezes and forms magnificent ice shapes and frozen waterfalls.  Although some Summer water flow is warm enough to produce slight melting, it actually balances the winter growth some which is a good thing.  The Winter-Spring growth exceeds the Summer ice loss and the constant cycle of slight melting with growth guarantees the survival of this magnificent natural showcase and frozen waterfalls.

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For me, the cave was so worth visit! It is one of a kind experience. The glacier was not from the ice age, it was only 500 years old, but still impressive. The glacier part was quite big. The guided tour was about 50 min. I didn’t pay much to the guide, as i was busy taking picture. The cave is well lit up, on the path and mostly at the chambers and the special ornaments, which is double awesome! We don’t need torch, and the lights also helps a lot on photo taking.

The path is well built, the hand rail and stairs are good and safe. On the website, they said the cave is suitable for all ages. I think, the hard part was not in the cave, it is in the trekking path from the cable car station to the entrance.

 

#8 Europe Chapter 2 : Random things from Hallstatt and Obertraun

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#7 Europe Chapter 2 : Survive in expensive-touristic area

I’ve never been to Scandinavian countries, but….. it is well known as expensive tourist hell. And i believe it! That’s why, i keep those northern lights temptation on the very end of my list. I would go there, for SURE!! I mean…..not sure when, hahaha! Some tempting places come with very high price tag,  indeed. That’s really a sad irony for my-not-so-rich-life.

Some traveler choose to avoid those expensive places. Wise yet sober option…….. That would have been easy when the curiosity virus haven’t infected you yet. On my case, i got hooked by the photos on the net, and at the same time  curiosity bug inject me by its venom.

Well, expensive or no is rather subjective, tough. So, here is my list of expensive places i have visited during my trip : Mikonos (Greece), Santorini (Greece), and Hallstatt (Austria). The most expensive was Mykonos, and i make it worse by visiting it in the high season! Please take note everyone……. pick your travel date while you are full and well awake. Deep inside my black heart, buried by piles of pride, covered by limited promo tickets, i have to admit, i was stupid enough to visit Greece in August…….eur-6Here is the hotel rate comparison for Mikonos island. Yes, i paid high for my curiosity, and i paid more for my stupidity. At the end, i don’t care, i love my stay in Mikonos!!

1# things to do to survive in expensive-touristic place : avoid the high season, if there is option for that! Because, some place are not worth visit out of the season. And, some place meant to be visited in certain dates, for example October fest in Munich. Everything from hostel to transportation option become crazy expensive during October fest.

2# things to do to survive in expensive-touristic place : stay a bit out of the main attraction. I’ve done it in my previous trip to Venice. Instead of staying in the lagoon, i stayed in Marghera, in main land. The hostel rate was a lot friendlier, and so with the food! This time, instead of staying in expensive Hallsatatt village, i was staying in Obertraun, across the lake. Obertraun is still expensive option, but it is better than Hallstatt. Another option in staying Salzburg, which is a lot cheaper. But….. the commute cost to Hallstatt is not that cheap. Yeah…… We need to be aware of the commute cost for this trick.

3# things to do to survive in expensive-touristic place : Only eat things from the supermarket. I did it religiously in Hallstatt and Obertraun religiously! 8 Eur for big bread and some processed meat, last for 3 days! Not bad at all actually (proud of myself! haha!)

4# things to do to survive in expensive-touristic place : use your feet well. Most of the time, transportation cost quite a lot. In most western europe countries, one hour transportation ticket cost around 2,10 EUR. In The Netherlands, they use distance based, instead of time based. Hungary is quite cheap, aroud 5.20 EUR for 24 hours ticket. The cheapest i ever had was in Sibiu-Romania. Only 1.5 Lei per ride, it is around 0.35 EUR! So…… for the expensive places, i tried my best to just walk and walk and walk. I’m not interested in taking public transportation for free, even though it is possible…… I mean, illegal of course, but possible.

#4 Europe Chapter 2 : Let’s Start It With Greece

eur-3img_20160802_073608Athens timg_20160802_063429o Mykonos. There are 2 ports in Athens, Piraeus and Rafina. And i picked Piraeus. The ferry ticket from Piraeus is a bit more the one from Rafina, But….. Piraeus is easy to reach from the Athens city. It was just 1 subway ride! I booked the ferry trough greeceferries.com though lots of people said it won’t be full, booking in advance was not necessary. On the port, i need to exchange the real ticket on Gate 7.

My first impression about the ferries was “Wow!! they are huge!!” Seriously, i’ve never seen ferry this big!  I mean…. i’m living in archipelago as well, but, how come our water transportation not developed well?

For your information, Piraeus port is so big and damn crowded. To move from gate one to another, they provide shuttle bus. But…. this bus often stuck on the traffic jam, the traffic inside the port was crazy! To avoid running while dragging the big luggage scene, you better show up early!

Mykonos to Santorini. This time i booked the ferry through paleologos , from Mykonos to Santorini. The real ticket need to be picked up in Dahlia Travel, on the main road, somewhere on front of old port.

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Ferry in Mykonos would stop on the new port. Meanwhile, the Mykonos town is in old port. I guess there are 3 options to get to old port from the new one. 1# sea bus, the one i use, cost 2 EUR one ride. 2# Bus, and 3# walking. According to google map, it would be 30 min walking, around 2,7 km.img_20160802_124836

The Hellenic high speed is smaller compare to Blue star ferries. The seating arrangement also really different. The blue star ferries has no seat number. the passenger was seating everywhere together with their luggage. I mean, they are seating on the sofas and chairs, not on the floor, everywhere on the halls, restaurants, outside! I also found a large seating space on the rooftop deck. I think there would be rooms in Blue star ferries, but i’m not sure.

Meanwhile, Hellenic highspeed have fixed seat number. The luggage have to be stored in the provided rack.

#1 Europe Chapter 2 : The Route

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Barang Dagangan di Society6

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CouchSurfing, Tidak Untuk Semua Orang! (part 2)

Saya bilang, jadi anggota CS mesti bisa pake otak baik-baik. Salah satunya, buat baca profile, dan menilai nya. Yes…… profile!

Baik bagi yang mau cari host, ataupun yang terima surfer, baca profile tuh wajib hukum nya! Dari profil dan tentunya reference termasuk didalamnya , kita bisa menilai seseorang.

I prefer to host people ages 25 and upward, simply because we will have more in common in terms of life experience etc. So unless you feel you really share interests with me……….

Ada yang kasih batas umur

You will sleep in the SAME room where I sleep but NOT in the same bed. I have a couch. If you have a surf then you can do your thing.

artinya bakalan tinggal sekamar!!

Ocean blue eyes, 1.77 meters tall, lot of tattoos, party animal, Swedish viking, deeply in love with Hungary, dreaming about South America, usually thirsty & hungry, awesome, mysterious, bit crazy, spontaneous, bit weird………

When I leave my home and go outside, my mindset is that I cant wait to see what kind of fun, crazy & exciting shit……..

Kayaknya ga cucok buat yg kalem kayak eikeh……

queer

buat yang sensi ama queer, jauh jauh!

So……….

READ THE DAMN PROFILE!!!

Segitu susahnya kah, baca profile?? Kalo profile ga bisa di baca (Kosong melompong), mending jauh-jauh deh! Bayangin, untuk suatu fasilitas yang free, bahkan usaha dikit aja buat bikin profile, ogah?? Manusia macam apa itu??

Kalo nge host, baca request baik-baik, gunakan otak mu yang sangat berharga itu buat menilai request. Jangan terperosok dalam jebakan surfer freeloader – ga tahu terima kasih – annoying – irritating – apa lagi maling!!!

Hi there! Im Deena from Malaysia, Im traveling with a friend to Surabaya tomorrow arriving around 530pm. We kinda need a place to stay for a night.

Nyebut nama saya aja ga sanggup, apa lagi ngucap terima kasih?? Get lost!!

Hai surabaya jadi saya berdua dengan pacar saya kita dari bali, kita mau liburan ke jogja dan kita naik kereta dari surabaya. tanggal 16 kita balik ke bali,nah kita transit di surabaya tanggal 15. flight kita besoknya tanggal 16 pagi jam 7 jadi kita butuh tempat stay tanggal 15 malam hanya untuk tidur dan mandi saja karna tanggal 15 pun kita berdua sampai di surabaya jam 10 malam so we need place to stay guys.so do you want accept us to stay?

Lagi lagi, ngga mampu nyebut nama. Butuh tempat tidur ama mandi aja?? Tuh, hotel banyak! Masjid juga bisa! Ada orang yang berpendapat, tamu yang manis tuh, tamu yang ngga pernah ngajak ngobrol, bahkan kalo bisa invisible sekalian. Kata saya, itu tamu paling ga tahu diri!

Hi! I’m from Russia. Traveling Thailand- Malaysia – Indonesia-India. Can you stay in your February 23 to February 24 will be in Indonesia. THX

Yeah….. typical copy paste. Request 2 baris, bahasa inggris ancur, ga mungkin juga dia baca profile saya. By the way, ngapain dia nyebut-nyebut merek audio dari amerika?? Males deh!

So…. rajin membaca, karena membaca itu bikin tambah cakep, jangan lupa, kalo lagi baca, pakailah otakmu yang berharga itu, jangan dianggurin!! Selamat hosting dan surfing!!

 

 

CouchSurfing, Tidak Untuk Semua Orang! (part 1)

Yup, emang CS (couchsurfing) tuh tidak untuk semua orang.

Saya malang melintang di CS sejak 2008. Ga lama-lama amat, sebenarnya, cuma kebetulan dari rentang tahun 2008 sampai 2016, banyak hal terjadi. Misalnya revolusi CS dari .org jadi .com. Booming sos-med, lalu CS pun jadi lebih sos-med friendly, bahkan bisa login lewat account FB. Traveling jadi trend, sehingga, otomatis hal-hal yang bau traveling jadi sorotan media. Termasuk CS itu sendiri. Perubahan yang cukup besar………

Oh iya, CS juga pake apps loh!!

Dulu, kalo saya menyebut Couchsurfing, jawaban orang adalah, “ngga tahu apa itu??” atau kalo ngga, “suka surfing di laut?”

Hari ini, kalo saya sebut Couchsurfing, jawaban orang adalah, “oh iya, yg nginep gratis2 itu kan? Pernah baca dimana gitu” atau “oh, bahaya tuh, ada yang dibunuh gitu kan!!”

Dulu, kebanyakan orang tahu CS, lalu bergabung, setelah diajak anggota lain untuk gathering (kumpul-kumpul off air). Atau at least diperkenalkan oleh anggota lain. Istilah nya “member get member”. Jadi, sudah ada semacam filter, buat anggota CS.  Hari ini, siapa saja bisa baca artikel soal CS, dan langsung gabung. Banyak orang terjun bebas aja, nggak tahu apa itu CS. Sebagian nganggep CS kayak FB, tempat cari gratisan. Dan banyak yang menganggap CS tuh tempat cari teman bule. Sebenernya, kalo “bule hunter” sih sudah ada dari jaman pertama saya ikut CS…….. Tapi hari ini jauh lebih banyak, dan makin ganas!!

Thanks to sosmed dan media………..

Media tuh menulis apa apa yg bakal dibaca orang. Saya ngerti banget itu. Yang dibaca orang adalah “Gratis” dan “hangout sama bule”. Yeah….. that’s it. Hospitality?? Opo kuwi?? Ga menarik!!

Sekali lagi CS bukan buat semua orang…… CS cuma buat orang-orang yang…..

  1. Mengerti soal menjadi tamu di rumah orang
  2. Mengerti cara menggunakan otak dengan benar
  3. Mengerti cara menjaga keseimbangan antara memberi dan menerima
  4. Mengerti cara menjadi traveler yang baik

Ekspos dari media ini ga selalu buruk, untuk CS……… seharus nya. Soalnya, makin terkenal, makin banyak member, makin besar kemungkinan dapat host. Tapi……. masalah nya, banyak anggota baru adalah “pasukan berani mati” itu tadi. Ngga ngerti apa-apa soal CS, tapi berani bertingkah se-mau-nya…… Damn!!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter!!

paskah 2016

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