February 28, 2015

13 Reasons To Love Perth (Part Two)

 • Seeing Kangaroos In The Wild 
I'll start this second part with an important feature of Australia which many associate with the country. And it's none other than... Kangaroo! Those cute creatures are what everyone wants to hold, especially, if like me you've never seen kangaroos, it really will be something jaw dropping! Forget the zoo, cause I won't recommend you to waste your $27. I could only see the Kangaroos from a distance, while Koalas hid between the trees and many animals snooze for hours while you expect them to entertain you! 




 • Little 'Freo' Town 
Although many wonderful places around Perth are only accessible by private car, this well loved suburb, Fremantle, is reachable by public transport. Super-hooray! Taking a walk through the centre of this picturesque town will make you feel like in one of English or European towns. You can expect to find lots of coffee shops (they even called it the "Cappuccino Strip"), awesome bookshops (fyi, Fremantle has more secondhand bookshops than in Perth city), records stores, markets, museums, old-colourful buildings, local arts and crafts, mouth-watering fish and chips, and also white-sand beaches! While on weekdays we had an enjoyable walk because there weren't many people, we soak up the city vibe on the weekend. Oh, yes, historic town will never ever fail me. 




 • Feel The England 
The first day we explored the downtown area of Perth, I felt like I was in Singapore. Somehow the architecture and the urban design look similar with the Asian cities. Then I've changed my mind after exploring more part of the city, and realise it also has similarities with England. Though some of them appear to have been intentionally built like Oz's motherland, such as this alley called London Court which has lots of souvenir shops. B-b-but, who can resist a cool British vibe? Not me.



 • The (Second) Best Fish n Chips 
I had never known that there are any other places in this world which could provide fish n chips as good as Britain, until I taste this infamous Kailis Fish Market! Although they still cannot beat Chez Fred, the worlds' best fish and chips from Bournemouth, but they have the grilled one which I had never eaten before (and by the way, it's so much tastier than the fried one). I'm drooling now, just seeing their pictures! 



 • Amazing Street Performers 
Whether in the markets or streets; pianist, break-dancer, violinist, singer, guitarist or pantomime; solo or duet; the Beatles, classic, or Sheppard, you can found them all in Perth! Though it's not my first time visiting a city which has talented street performers, but this one surely has a bunch of them. 



 • The Anti Mainstream NYE 
Sydney maybe the best place to watch New Year Eve fireworks, but it's only in Perth where you can experience a simple yet intimate feast. There are three spots which provide different vibes: Cultural Centre for families with kids and elderly, Northbridge with its youthful vibe and street dance is better for youth (though there were many families too!), and the Swan River is the right place to watch the biggest fireworks in Perth. Because the cultural centre was too boring for us, and the river's a bit far from the other two places, so we decided to join the crowd in Northbridge. 



February 17, 2015

Being Vulnerable

Hari ini tepat seminggu sejak saya sakit dan dipaksa untuk bedrest, walaupun tetep aja akhirnya curi - curi keluar rumah karena enggak bisa tahan kebosanan di atas kasur. Salah satu adegan curi - curi itu adalah hari Minggu sore kemarin, ketika saya diundang ke sebuah gathering kecil yang mirip dengan book club. Ini kedua kalinya saya diundang, yang mana saat awal Desember lalu saya enggak bisa hadir karena sedang dinas. Makanya kali ini saya harus datang, pikir saya, walaupun yang artinya saya harus melanggar perintah dokter untuk bedrest. Tapi saya enggak menyesal bela - belain datang ke acara tersebut, bertemu dengan orang - orang baru yang sama sekali belum pernah saya temui dan bahkan kenal sebelumnya. Di acara itu kami berbicara tentang buku - buku favorit kami, sambil sesekali menyeruput secangkir kopi, teh maupun hot chocolate. Orang - orang ini sangatlah unik dan menarik, terlihat jelas dari buku yang mereka pilih dan cara penyampaian mereka tentang buku - buku favorit mereka tersebut. Puncaknya adalah ketika salah seorang dari mereka menangis bahkan sebelum membicarakan buku tersebut. Raut wajahnya yang sebelumnya terlihat sama sekali tenang dan ceria, dalam seketika senyumannnya saat itu dibarengi dengan air mata. Saat itu saya cukup kaget dan saya yakin saat itu bukan hanya saya yang merasa seperti itu. Kemudian ia bercerita bahwa suatu waktu ketika ia berada di salah satu bagian terendah dalam hidupnya, ketika ia sangat vulnerable, dan saat itulah buku itu dibacanya berulang kali, menghibur dirinya dan bahkan mungkin membuatnya kembali menjadi seorang manusia yang tegar dan bahagia seperti sekarang. Dari penjelasan singkatnya, buku itu mengajarkan kita untuk menerima segala kekurangan, kerentanan dan ketidaksempurnaan diri kita, sehingga bisa membuat kita menjalani hidup dengan sepenuh hati. Entah kenapa, pembicaraan saat itu terus bergema di telinga saya sampai akhirnya saya menemukan beberapa kalimat yang diambil dari buku tersebut.

Being vulnerable is not about showing the parts of you that are polished; it’s about revealing the unpolished parts you would rather keep hidden from the world. It’s about looking out into the world with an honest, open heart and saying, “This is me. Take me or leave me". 
It’s hard to consciously choose vulnerability. Why? Because the stakes are high. If you reveal your authentic self, there is the possibility that you will be misunderstood, judged, or even rejected. The fear of these things is so powerful that you put on an armored mask to protect yourself. But, of course, this only perpetuates the pain you are trying to avoid. 
The truth is nothing worthwhile in this world is a safe bet. Since love and happiness are born out of your willingness to be vulnerable – to be open to something wonderful that could be taken away from you – when you hide from your vulnerability, you automatically hide from everything in life worth attaining. 
Daring Greatly, BrenĂ© Brown

Saya belum pernah membaca buku tersebut, tetapi mendengar penjelasan darinya dan terlebih lagi membaca beberapa paragraf diatas membuat saya tersadar bahwa saya adalah bagian dari orang - orang tersebut. Orang - orang yang tanpa sadar hampir selalu menunjukkan sisi 'baik' nya aja, mengambil langkah 'aman' karena takut dijudge, meyakinkan diri untuk selalu menjadi orang yang tangguh dan kuat, serta memakai topeng karena takut mengecewakan orang lain ketika mereka menyadari bahwa saya bukan sebaik yang mereka pikir. Mengobservasi berbagai macam orang melalui media sosial, membuat saya sadar akan satu hal bahwa pada dasarnya kita semua ingin bisa lebih dari orang lain. Lebih hebat, lebih bahagia, lebih tangguh, lebih baik dan lebih ideal. Mungkin itu memang udah bagian yang enggak terpisahkan dari sifat manusia. Tetapi hidup di sebuah kelompok masyarakat yang seolah - olah terus bersaing untuk menunjukkan kelebihan dan kekuatannya, semakin membuat saya menjadi seperti mereka. Dan lebih parahnya lagi adalah, tanpa sadar, saya juga memberikan penyangkalan yang sama terhadap diri saya sendiri bahwa saya 'lebih' dari diri saya yang sebenarnya. Pada akhirnya memberikan tekanan yang cukup besar bagi saya terutama beberapa saat belakangan ini. I kept pushing myself so hard, overthinking everything, and comparing my life to others'. The worst part of it all was the fact that I became my own enemy. 

Sampai akhirnya saya enggak kuat dan melepaskan segala beban di pikiran saya ini ke salah satu orang terdekat saya. Walaupun sebenarnya saat itu saya enggak banyak berkata - kata, tetapi responnya langsung menjawab apa yang ada di pikiran saya, "Kamu hanya perlu menerima diri kamu apa adanya dan menerima segala kekurangan kamu.. see? it's that simple!".  Entah hanya sebuah kebetulan, atau memang Tuhan mencoba untuk mengingatkan saya, seolah - olah perpaduan antara perbincangan sore sebelumnya dengan perkataannya malam itu membuat saya sadar akan satu hal bahwa I was living someone else's life, sampai saya lupa dengan diri saya sendiri. Akhirnya sekarang setelah saya menyadari itu, saya berusaha untuk selalu lebih jujur dengan diri saya, menerima segala kekurangan saya dan tidak memaksakan apa yang di luar kapabilitas diri saya. Dan terlebih lagi, mencoba melepas topeng yang saya pakai sebelum terlalu melekat di wajah saya. That doesn't mean I will show all my weaknesses and secrets to everyone out there, tapi cukup memperlihatkan bahwa I am just human, I am imperfect, I am fragile and so I won't pretend to be someone I'm not. And I hope you do too! :)

February 11, 2015

Art Museum


Outerwear: Thrifted (Pasar Gedebage). Stripe Top: Thrifted (Pasar Senen).
Bag: Long Champ. Pants: Pull & Bear. Shoes: Unbranded. 

February 07, 2015

13 Reasons To Love Perth (Part One)

Traveling to Perth may not be so comforting to people who expect to see a busy metropolitan city and those who don't have/rent a private car. Like many other small cities, most shops close at 5pm and the streets are so empty after dawn (and also every Sundays). Even though it is generally a safe city, sometimes I feel insecure to go outside after dark because there are some hobos around. In terms of attraction and entertainment, it doesn't offer a lot of option. I personally think two days are enough to explore a main part of the city, but it's only enough if you want to see the main city's attractions. But if you want to explore the surrounding towns, islands, vine yards, and national parks, you would probably need more than a week. I'm not too fond of big cities and much prefer to explore historical towns/villages and natural attractions, so I'm more interested to explore around Perth. But then, I was disappointed when I knew that the railways in Western Australia don't reach all the regions, even the ones that are quite popular destinations for tourists. Staying for 10 days, I expected it would be so boring. But surprisingly, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. 

P.S: I began this post as a '13 Reasons to...', but it quickly became apparent that if you had to read through my full list at a time, it would probably take you about weeks to finish it (Ha!), so I've decided to break it down into two posts, and this is the first half of my 13 reasons to love Perth.  


• Quaint Neighbourhoods 
You should never underestimate a small city. In the case of Perth, even though the city centre is quite small and ordinary, it has some quaint neighbourhoods that you can easily get out and explore. They are filled with packs of local creativity and culture, the places that if not explored, means you haven't fully explored Perth and everything it has to offer. My favourites are Northbridge, Leederville and Subiaco. Each has its own uniqueness and quirks that differentiate one from another. For instance, Northbridge is a melting pot of food and culture, which is more filled with art activities as it's only a short walk from the cultural centre; Leederville is full of unique restaurants and cafes, vintage clothes, indie stores and also the home of Luna Cinema, the only indie cinema I've ever visited, not even once in other countries; while in Subiaco, you can visit the local market (unfortunately it was closed when I visited), indie bookshops and cafes, or just soak up the atmosphere and charm of this neighbourhood






• Countless Bookshops
If you are a book lover or bookshop wanderer, then Perth is one of the most spectacular city in the world. What surprised me was the amount of bookshops in and around Perth, especially in the city, Fremantle and Subiaco. Seriously, they have lots of bookshops, covering almost every segment of reader; from the secondhand bookshop, antiquarian, comic, indie, science fiction and fantasy, technical and specialist books, medicine bookshop, language bookshops and other kind of bookshops you may have never heard before. I personally love the secondhand, though sometimes they can be overpriced, but you can just take a look at the stacks of books you hope to read one day, or admire the store decoration.   






 Attractive Public Space  
I have always been intrigued by public space, especially since I visited some cities that offer the most pleasing ones, including Perth. I believe that lively and enjoyable public spaces are what makes a city more alive. For a relatively small city, Perth has impressed me by its cleverness at using the minimum empty spaces and transforming them into lively, attractive and enjoyable places for people, especially kids and family. The public space at the cultural centre is a favourite of mine. I was really awed by the idea of 'mini beach' installation in summer days (I latter found out that they put the ice rink in winter), or, the cozy bench under the trees so you can enjoy reading good book with a yummy cup of Ben and Jerry's, which is just around the corner. They all are really give off a tranquil feeling right in the middle of the city, and makes me wonder if Jakarta will ever provide this kind of public space. 




 Fr(ee)endly Public Transport 
In case you haven't known, a number of Australian cities provide some free public transportation routes for public. In Perth, it's called the CAT bus(es). Although they don't cover the whole city, they run around the CBD (Central Business District), some of the suburbs and the train station. What is more, the bus drivers are the friendliest ones I've ever met. It's not literally all of them, but we met few bus drivers when we ride the non-free buses, and some of them told us how to save our money on transportation during our stay. Some other drivers also let us ride for free with no specific reason!


• Picnic In The King's Park 
Strolling to one of the world's largest park and the most beautiful city park, you can see the breathtaking view of the city and river. While tourists usually come to take pictures of the city view and the memorials (they have two memorials: the small one is for bombing in Bali and the other one that much bigger is for the World War), many locals held picnic either with their family, friends or couples. Their preparation ranging from those who only bring food and drink, to the picnic set and mat, and to those who bring the picnic set with the table and chair! 



 • Watching Outdoor Cinema 
I've developed this obsession with outdoor cinemas since I attended one in London two years ago. The best thing about outdoor cinema is that it offers different sensation and experience, than watching in indoor cinema, something that I have done many times. The idyllic summer nights with warm air and fresh breezes, a giant pop-up screen movie with the view of skyscrapers behind it, the fancy decoration (I couldn't stop taking picture of every corner of this place, because they're just too adorable!), the smell of pizza and buttered popcorn lingers in the air, and of course, the best selected movies which are either box offices, the best new movies (The Imitation Game was already playing at the time), or festival winners. Unfortunately, I only attended one that was held by Rooftop Movies, so I cannot compare it with the other outdoor cinemas (cause actually there are around five different outdoor cinemas in Perth). But still, I suggest you to attend the one by Rooftop Movies!




• Street Art Mural 
I was surprised when I was just wandering the city streets and revealed many nice murals, because I never heard that Perth is famous for street art murals. You can find them either on the wall besides the main street, in the passageways, behind buildings, or even in some certain places that you won't realise if you don't pay enough attention. Don't ya think they make great background for full body shot or maybe ootd, eh?