Showing posts with label MyItchyFeet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MyItchyFeet. Show all posts

COLORFUL INDONESIA - 17AN (TUJUH BELASAN) – The Notes from the Celebration of Indonesia’s 75th Anniversary with Google Local Guides


Colorful Indonesia - the Celebration of Indonesia's 75th Anniversary

COLORFUL INDONESIA - 17AN (TUJUH BELASAN) – The Notes from the Celebration of Indonesia’s 75th Anniversary with Google Local Guides


Hello everyone...

Hope everyone is safe, happy and healthy amidst the pandemic that still run rampant around us.

August is almost gone and I have to admit that this month has been very colorful

 If you were asked, what you have done to your country, what would be your answer(s)?

That you have loved it with all you heart and soul?

That you have defended it in various occasions and platforms?

That you have tried to do your best to make your country proud?

That you have studied hard to ensure you can give the best to your country?

That you have contributed, in your own way, to the progress on the ground?

That you have promoted your country wherever you go?

That you have proudly speak your national language and teach it to your fellow foreign counterparts?

That you have loved its tremendous culture and be proud of it?

That you have always cooked your national or traditional food you love so much?

That you will continue to look for ways to improve your skills and share your passion about your beloved country to the world?

The list can go on and on and on obviously.

And that’s why, in the spirit of making the celebration of our Independence Day more meaningful, Jakarta Local Guides, together with Indonesia Local Guides, convened a special meet – up, COLORFUL INDONESIA17an (read: TUJUH BELASAN).

Welcoming the 75th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia, Local Guides throughout Indonesia proudly invited all Local Guides to participate in the Virtual meet up which was held on the August 17th 2020 at 07.00 PM Indonesia time.


We celebrated Indonesia’s 75th Anniversary or the Independence Day together with Local Guides from Indonesia as well as from different corner of the world. Friends from India, Thailand, Peru, Malaysia, Pakistan and others join our celebration. Some friends from Indonesia even joined the meet - up while they were in the middle of the road, heading back to Jakarta.

Google Local Guides from India, Thailand, Peru, the US, Malaysia and others joined the virtual meet - up on Indonesia's Independence

It was fun, hassle-free and joyous celebration, filled with interesting history, fun-fact about Indonesia and its struggles for independence, quizzes and songs, and endless photo sessions.

We started the meeting at 8 PM by singing our national anthem, Indonesia Raya. The music was played and the lyrics were provided so everyone who attended, including those who are not Indonesians, could follow and felt the vibe.


Nothing beats the feeling of patriotism and the love of your country while you are singing the national anthem! For sure, my dearest Indonesian colleagues sang the anthem with their hearts, I myself was choked with mixed feelings of pride and optimism.



It was super special as well as we invited Local Guides who participated to wear Indonesian traditional costumes. As the theme for this celebration is "Colorful Indonesia", we were very grateful and appreciative as the meet-up participants wore or showed traditional clothes during the meet-up. Of course it was not mandatory but I managed to wear Siger Lampung, the traditional headdress from Lampung, Indonesia (my beloved hometown) with its famous and elaborate Tapis Lampung, the hand-woven traditional fabric from Lampung, using golden threads and colorful patterns in purple, red and gold. 

Meanwhile my dearest co-host   Radja Sitanggang looked super cool with his Bataknese attire (from North Sumatra, his origin) in black and gold. Rahmat, our super talented and super helpful friend (to whom we owed his amazing works for presentations and videos) wore Udeng, a special headdress for male from Bali.   Jean looked beautiful in Balinese attire with that lovely frangipani on her hair. Mas Brian   from Malang was showcasing a special head scarf from Java I believe. Many wore Batik, our UNESCO-World-Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity like Pak  Budi and many others.

Siger Lampung worn by Google Local Guides @indahnuria during virtual meet up


We had presentations from Munawar of Aceh and Jean as well.

Munawar eloquently talked about the beauty of Aceh and all its famous coffee, food and of course, the beauty of Acehnese ladies. I couldn’t wait to come and visit Aceh myself!

And Jean successfully made us crave to go to Bali and enjoy its endless beauty. Never get enough of it.


Together, we shared more of what independence means to us and how colourful Indonesia can stay united after its independence in 1945.

We walk through some highlights of beautiful Indonesia, particularly to historical places (mostly in Jakarta and the surrounding cities like Rengasdengklok) to see its amazing stories and landscapes. Some historical buildings in Jakarta are the witness of Indonesia’s struggles towards independence.

Presentation during the virtual meet - up of COLORFUL INDONESIA

In addition to that, we celebrated the cultures, particularly the ones that become sort of traditions during the 17an or the celebration of Indonesia’s independence, like decorating the gate in your neighborhood with Red-and-white theme, fun traditional games with prizes, parade, flag-hoisting ceremony, and so much more. Although the pandemic is still rampant and in many cities these traditions were not done this year, but we still have vivid memories of how fun those games were during 17an. How it brings me back to my childhood with all those fun – yet – hilarious games. Not to mention culinary, traditions and friendly people, including Indonesian Local Guides :). For sure, these are wonderful aspects that Local Guides from all over the world will certainly enjoy and cherish! Again, Rahmat had done a brilliant job for preparing the presentation. 

Then we also had photo competition where Local Guides were invited to send their favorite photos showcasing Indonesia or following the theme of Indonesia’s Independence Day. 

Some of the entries for photo competition during the virtual meet up of COLORFUL INDONESIA

We had many cool entries and the winner is Nabhan Ahmad Ludihanto! Yaaaay...congratulations.



Winner of the photo competition during the virtual meet up of COLORFUL INDONESIA

Of course, the meet-up won’t be complete without any quizzes. We had fun throwing trivia questions from the presentation, like how many islands Indonesia has, the names of Indonesian heroines from Aceh, the names of beaches in Bali, and so many more. For the prizes, they got tumblers, t-shirts, and packages of traditional food and coffee from Lampung! Then, we had Kahoot quiz as well, packed with Indonesian – related questions. Fun, fun, fun.

Winner of the Kahoot quiz during the virtual meet up of COLORFUL INDONESIA


In addition to that, we actually had a challenge for non-Indonesia participants. You know what the challenge was? To sing any Indonesian songs or any songs related to Indonesia for us. Just like a gift to Indonesia. But perhaps the challenge was too hard LOL, none could finish it. Except @Ant_Bad_Yogi     who sang Happy Birthday to us, and I guess to me as well who celebrated my birthday on August 11. Thanks Ant for the fun! Then we had @gurupriya , my dear @anil and Ma @RosyKohli for joining us as well together with others.

We managed to sing together as well. Tanah Pusaka was the song we chose, as we were so moved by its deep lyrics. I almost cried singing it together with my fellow Indonesian Local Guides. It was indeed a great moment.

For us, our homeland will always stay in our heart. 

Borne in our soul.

And stay there till the end of time.

I personally have been traveling and residing in many parts of the world.

But my heart belongs to INDONESIA.



Seperti syair lagu cantik ini, Tanah Airku

Walaupun banyak negeri kujalani
Yang masyhur permai dikata orang
Tetapi kampung dan rumahku
Di sanalah ku rasa senang

Tanah ku tak kulupakan
Engkau kubanggakan

Tanah ku yang kucintai
Engkau kuhargai


And here's the free translation to the lyrics:

Even though I have traveled to many countries

The famous ones they said, beautiful and prosper

But my home, my village and my homeland

That's where I feel happy

My land I will not forget

I'm proud of you

My land that I always love

I will always appreciate you


Happy 75th Anniversary, Indonesia celebrating Indonesia's Independence in Switzerland

All in all, it was a great meet-up!

Thank you so very much for joining us, dear Local Guides and friends!

Hope we all can benefit from this meet-up and see you around on the next one!



The Frakarsas on the road: Hola Espana trip - Barcelona

It all began with our dream to visit La Alhambra...

Alhambra, Granada, Spain....

Warning: This is a throwback story. I realized we have been traveling to so many places yet haven't really got a chance to write the stories on the blog. So, bear with me as I spill some beans from trips back in 2008 - 2011, while we were living in Geneve , Switzerland and making trips to around 20 countries and countless cities. Most of the information are still up to date but feel free to correct me. 

To be able to visit this amazing place is one of the highlights of our live!

Spending some times in Europe made us pretty well exposed to the typical European cultures, including their heritage buildings, cultures and vibes. It's incredible of course. But after quite an intensive period of time visiting various cities in Western and Central Europe, we crave for something else,

No wonder, Rudi and I were intrigued to explore another exotic face of Europe.
And Spain was on top of the agenda. 

So, after browsing here and there, calculating this and that, asking people  we finally decided, in 9 days, to start the trip from Barcelona, heading to Zaragosa et Madrid, top for a while before hitting the road again to Toledo, Cordoba et Granada. Another stop was added et we continued to Valencia, before going back to GE from Barcelona..

Ambitious, huh :D.
Indeed it was.
And we made it!

Preparing 8-day roadtrip for three, involving a 3.5-year-boy (at that time Obi was not born yet), was not easy. You know the fun and drama traveling with toddlers. Meticulously, I managed to contact  the hotels (many stopovers, many hotels indeed) through online booking, browse the highlights of the cities plus their hidden 'treasures', book our car (free upgrade and we got the latest smart Peugoet, yaaay), and  this and that.

Senangnya traveling jaman sekarang adalah banyaknya kemudahan yang diperoleh lewat internet. Semua perjalanan di Spanyol saya siapkan dari hasil browsing sana-sini. Berhubung kita akan berhenti di sekitar 8 kota, ada 6 hotel yang saya book di Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, dan Valencia. 

Untuk mobil, pilihan kita saat itu adalah Alamo rent-a-car yang diambil di bandara Barcelona. Untuk trip 9 hari, kita membayar kurang lebih 300 Euro, cukup murah untuk hitungan mobil sewa. But that was back in 2010 dan kami melakukan perjalanan di awal tahun alias bulan Januari yang notabene adalah low season. Jadi, japan ke mana'mana pas dan ramah di kantong, plus perfect weather karena tidak terlalu panas or dingin.

And we did make a great choice.


Yet it was a very pleasant trip, except for the final twist at the end thanks to never-ending pouring snow in Geneva at that time. Well, that made us have to stay longer (yaaay...we didn't mind at all) in Barcelona while waiting until we could fly back to Geneva.
It was 3 extra days all paid by EasyJet. No complaint, just enjoy it!

So, where to start now.
For sure, no need to introduce Barcelona I suppose.
This colorful and vibrant city has so much to offer! 
Great architectures, wonderful food, colorful night scene, lovely cultures and friendly people! Almost everything we ask for while traveling.

We read though that Barcelona was a bit high in terms of street crime so we tried to be extremely vigilant and cautious during our trip. And I have to say, we almost had the incident when to pickpockets came near us on one of the subway stations! Good thing my hubby saw that and warned me before the two young men tried to open my backpack while I was busy with Bo and his stroller, and snatch something. When they saw that we fully realized what they were trying to do, they fled. So, just be careful when you happened to be around the city.
Anyway, let us start by enjoying some of the colorful records of our time down there.

As we arrived in Aeroport de Barcelona  - El Prat, we took the bus to the city.

It was very convenient to take the Aerobus, the bus from airport to the city center, for only 6 Euro per person. And the ride took less than an hour.

We walked from Plaça de Catalunya our hotel in La Rambla. It was not that far and as we only traveled with one big bag and backpacks, it was very manageable even with Bo and his stroller. We chose this place because it is one of the landmarks of Barcelona filled with so many attractions, including museums, Antoni Gaudi`s works, good restaurants, and more. We also walked around to see the beautiful Baelaric Sea near the promenade.

So, once we settled our stuff at the hotel, we walked back to the middle of the city and enjoy Plaça de Catalunya.

 Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona...
 We took some photos and walked around, as the surroundings were lovely as well.

Another side of  Plaça Catalunya...
Plaça de Catalunya is the big square in the city center of Barcelona, surrounded by shopping malls, restaurants including Hard Rock Cafe, boutique, tourist informations and more.

We stopped at El Corte Ingles, the big shopping mall here. Just doing some window shoppings. Good thing we came in January, so that we had a lot of sale. Lucky me!
For sure we took a lot of photos.

Bo et maman happy posing for bapak...tho' it was quite freezing :D...

lovely architecture, in one of the busiest corner of Barcelona :D...

In La Rambla, we strolled around this long street and really enjoying the view.
What strike me most are those elegant apartments along the way.
And yummy seafood Paella we ate here. 

Don't you just love it!
As the day was already long after our flight from Geneva, we called it a day after our early dinner.

Again, be careful when you are enjoying La Rambla.
The pickpockets here are quite famous.
Alhamdulillah we didn't have any issues besides the one I share up there.

Well, next on our agenda is Parc Guell, designed and built by one and only Antoni Gaudi.
Ring a bell? will talk more about him and his fantastic works on the next post. 
Stick around!

Wonderful Wednesday with Oh My Heartsie Girls

Another week of fun we have here!

We had much better weather for sure, so it's time to officially welcome spring!

We went to the Met last weekend with the kids and as you know, the Met's collections are a lot and indeed mindblowing. Will surely come back with tons of photos, stories and more on that!

Welcome to the Met :)

Moreover, we had a quick trip to the factory outlet (having fun choosing spring collection) and stopped over at the Hessian Lake, Bear Mountain, NY. 

Hessian Lake, Bear Mountain, NY

Super beautiful!
Half frozen, half not, the Hessian Lake looks as pristine as ever.
We promise ourselves to go back here again for Spring picnic :)

the three of us at the lake...well, it was a bit cold but sunny indeed...

Now, it'
s time for our weekly linky party! ENJOY!

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Feature Pick By Donna //Two Chicks and a Mom Keeping It Real // DIY Spring Bunny T-Shirt (Its Re-Pinnable Here) FLoral Divider
Home Cooking Memories Shrimp-and-Asparagus-Stir-Fry-with-Lemon-Sauce-Recipe 

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