Finally this is the last post of my Europe Journey! Woo hooo!
In total I spend 2 weeks with these journey:
7 April – Arrival in Paris
11 April – Paris – Rome
12 April – Rome – Florence – Venice
13 April – Berlin
14 April – Amsterdam – Haarlem – Leiden – Paris
16 April – Amsterdam – Paris – Jakarta
17 April – Arrival in Jakarta!
How do you feel, Dini? How do you feel of Europe?
One thing, I feel so BLESSED that finally one of my resolution this year to visit EUROPE comes true. And again, because of Danone🙂 I think many of my dreams come true because of this company such as; meeting with Prof. Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank!
This trip has to be ended because life calling me to reality! The morning train bring us from Amsterdam to Paris.
Spotted Ahmad sleeping in the train!😀
We arrived in the afternoon & because we still need to buy some souvenirs that our friends order, me & Ahmad directly go to the Montmarte, one of my favorite place in Paris, to buy souvenirs! We saw Sacre Coeur agaiiiin.. I feel so blessed! I buy some souvenirs in the list & then we left Montmarte to go to Opera! Why Opera? Because we want to get Starbucks tumbler (again, order from friends :D) & one of the Starbucks that we know located near Danone office, near this Opera.
OPERA & The street in front.. cool, huh?😉
Ahmad buy 9 Starbucks Tumbler with PARIS word & design on it. Wait.. What, 9?? YES! Haha I think his friends are big fans of Starbucks. But thanks to his friends, the very kind barista then give us FREE Starbucks, yay! I choose my Hazelnut Latte as usual ;))
After that, we are rushing to go to Eiffel again! What for? We wanna buy THAT CHEAP KEYCHAIN! Haha there is funny story about this. At the first time we arrived, we always reject the seller who are mostly afro guy selling the keychain because we just dont wanna buy it at that time. They can speak BAHASA, they keep coming to us saying, “Lima 1 euro, kakak!”, “Boleh kakaaak!”. Oh my God. This is the proof that a lot of Indonesians coming here to shop! LOL. We also find many bahasa in Galleries Lafayette! Place where the tourist shop! No doubt, our people really love to shop.
Then, around Eiffel, at this time, we cannot find that afro guy who usually a lot of them selling the keychain & other souvenirs in surrounding Eiffel. Where are they?? We finally found out that there are police around Eiffel doing the razia for illegal seller & unfortunately those seller that I am looking for, selling an illegal stuff. But its so cheap so we still want that stuff anyway. In the end, we finally find one of the guy & we buy a lot of keychains from him. This is the order also from those UNPAD students who already in the airport when we were here.
Last time take photo in Eiffel before heading to airport.
I got chance to make 2 Birthday Videos under Eiffel for Reyska & Sophie:
After all the souvenirs order already in our hand, we are walking to the home of Pak Karyanto Wibowo (Danone Indonesia employee who got assignment 2 years in Paris!) & Ibu Sari, very kind family who safe our luggage in their home during our Euro trip to Italy – Belrin – Netherlands. We left our luggage in their home when we are all leaving to Rome. Then, we took a taxi to the airport from their home! Anyway, Ibu Sari is a very inspiring lady who build “Sekolah Pemulung” in Bantar Gebang. This is her profile in ANTV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e_shXWnodc
Then, we say goodbye to Ibu sari & her 2 awesome boys. Pak karyanto is still working so we say our greeting for him through Bu sari. We are then heading to airport to meet up with those UNPAD students!🙂
Its a nice feeling to meet up again after separated for a week! We share the story of our trip & its nice to exchange fun stories🙂
Its hard to leave Paris, the beautiful city that if I can choose to live between all cities that I visited in Europe, I will choose Paris for the sake of its pretty buildings, & city beautiful language, the people that are funny & saying what it is!
To end this Europe episode, I suggest you to watch this cool documentary movie made by our filmmaker; Riyan Satria & Seffhana Ristya, who seriously take photos & videos of our journey :)) I am so lucky to be in a trip with those two talented boys🙂
Finally we are in our last destination of our Europe Journey; NETHERLAND!!!
I always want to visit Netherland in my life because I feel that there must be a lot of connection between us & them due to the colonizations that they did in Indonesia for 2.5 centuries. I believe many culture & habit that we have, some of them are coming from Netherland. Thats why, I always wanna see the country by myself. And here I am, arrive in Schipol International Airport in Netherland from Berlin.
1st thing that I wanna do is.. checking Danone Office! What? The office is in the airport? YES. In Schipol, they have WTC building that some companies rent the office there and Danone is one of them. Me & Ahmad trying to find WTC and we are so excited once we finally get it.. but unfortunately, its Saturday, they are close😦
Danone Place Schiphol from Outside Window
After exploring Schipol that quite big, we buy a train ticket from Schipol to Amsterdam 3.90 Euro. One funny thing; here if we buy ticket from the machine it will be cheaper that buy from the counter ticket from the staff. So, if you have coin & exact money to buy ticket, I suggest you to not lining in the operational staff to buy ticket but buy it in the machine.
Starting the morning by exploring Amsterdam directly! From Amsterdam Centraal Station, we walk through and found many trem (train in the street), many people, many bikes, many shops! One word for Amsterdam in my 1st sight: CROWDED! I feel like in Jakarta, I feel like seeing the future of Jakarta with a lot of people passing by, together with trem-bikes-car on the road, trying to spare the street. Many times, I almost hit by the bikes that drive so fast. Remind me of motorcycle in Jakarta.
We walk to the canals, avenue to avenue, and because this is the tourism area, we found a lot of people! We finally decide to eat in Thailand Restaurant. In the end, we found out that this restaurant is one of the best Thai food in the city. We order tomyam mushroom, fried rice, and spring roll. Yumm! At first, we want to eat Indonesian food but the restaurant that we saw already close.
From this place, we walk until we find Dam Square, Royal Palace, and Nieuwe Kerk. We also pass Red Light District that famous with the marijuana & woman😀 A lot of tourist visit this place, we saw a lot of woman behind the glass door offer their body for tourist.
We took a trem to go to that famous “I AMSTERDAM” statue near Museumplein where we can find Anne Frank museum as well. As predicted, a lot of people are here to just taking picture with this statue. It takes sometime for us to find space to take photo😀
After that we take a trem again to just go around Amsterdam and we saw the street with all Indonesia island on it e.g Javastraat, Maluccastraat, Sumatra, etc. I feel the connection! One thing that I realize and pretty sure we have connection as well is how friendly people in Amsterdam, they are very helpful. Even without asking for help, when they see we look confuse, sometime they ask us if we need help. The people there also sometime just pass the street even though the light is red (sign to stop), I enjoy this moment when I feel like in Jakarta but with different kind of people.
We ended up also in a garden called “Vondelpark”. We are so shock when we see the garden full of people! Is this a market or what?! In the end, we finally now that today is the 1st day where the sun rises after long rain in previous days. OH thats why a lot of people going out today!
In the evening, our train from Amsterdam-Harleem (the city next to Amsterdam) take us to Haarlem for only 20 minutes journey and we take a bus from Haarlem station to the 1st bus stop in Oranjestraat. When we get down, a hug welcome us! From our lovely host that I found from Couchsurfing named “Anne”. Anne then bring us to her warm home!🙂
Me : “Whats the connection of this city and Harlem Shake?”
Anne: “Hahaha. No connection at all. It just similar name with Harlem in US. But this Haarlem is using two A.”
Me : “Ooh thats why they pronounced it a bit long in the word “Haar” before they say “Lem”
Thats the beginning of our productive yet fun conversation in her warm home after we eat lasagna and now enjoying a cup of tea. Anne stay with Auke, her partner and Anne now in 6 month pregnancy. She is a doctor in general hospital.
Anne: “You know what, I try to stop hosting lately because I want to focus on my pregnancy. But you know why I cannot refuse you?”
Me: “Umm. Why so?”
Anne: “Its because you guys are Indonesian!My grandpa used to be a minister in Solo back then in colonizations & I used to get many help from Couchsurfer in Indonesia when I did my travel to Indonesia for 1 month. I just cannot say no to you guys..”
Me & Ahmad laughs. See, another connection that we feel in Holland! And we should thank of this connection! That night, our first time meeting with Anne & Auke, just feel like we already know each other for years. In fact, only couple hours ago. Both of us are stranger to them and they let us get in to their home, eat their food, drink their tea, take shower in their bathroom, use the computer, and finally, sleep in their unique room in the attic! This is what I love about Couchsurfing and how beautiful is it.🙂
This is HAARLEM in the evening🙂
3) Keukenhof & Leiden
I love the feeling when you wake up in different country, not in your own room/bed, and somebody speaking in different language with you. This is one of my favorite yet strange moment of traveling! :))
Taking shower in Anne bathroom remind me of taking shower in Cathy’s bathroom (my host family in Canada when I was in Canada World Youth program) because the style is so similar. Haha sounds silly but it really make me wanna live aboard again.
Anne said that we can eat&drink everything from the fridge so I make my morning toast with milk and drink orange juice afterwards. This moment of breakfast, also remind me of having breakfast in Cathy’s home. Ah, another program sick just coming up! Wake up, Dini!
Anne have to leave the home before us and yeah we leave the home after her! Can you imagine, a stranger in your home – having breakfast – browsing map on the internet – drink your milk – and you are not even in your home? How could you trust this person?😀 That is Couchsurfing! That is how strong & beautiful the relationship in Couchsurfing that make people believe in you in a second.
SHIT HAPPEN. I left my wallet in the home & once we go out from the home, we cannot open the door again. Its locked automatically. HA! So here we go, walking to Anne’s workplace (in a hospital), taking the key – going back to Anne’s home to take the wallet – then going back to her hospital again to give the key back. Lesson learned: Re-check everything is already in your bag before you left the home hehe.
Our first destination: KEUKENHOF! Taking only 1 time bus and walk for around 2.5 km until we finally see this flower garden. So beautiful :)) This place is so touristic. Many buses with tourist all over the world came here to see this big & beautiful garden. If we come 3 weeks later from now, maybe we can see the full blooming flowers of Keukenhof big garden🙂
If you happen to come to Netherland & you love to see the garden & flowers, you definitely have to see Keukenhof! May-June is the best timing for Keukenhof visit when the flowers blooming.
After Keukenhof, we taking a bus to Leiden. Leiden is the city after Keukenhof. What a perfect trip from Harleem – Keukenhof – Leiden. We arrive in Leiden Centraal station & we directly found a place to eat near the station because its lunch time! Ahmad have a lecture from UNPAD that study in Leiden University, thus we wait for him to take us to a short tour in Leiden.
When he finally come with his wife, he take us to a short tour to Leiden downtown. Sightseeing to Leiden University, see the library which has the biggest literacy & archive about Indonesia (yes, this is happen because when Netherland colonized us, they write everything about Indonesia & they bring it back to Netherland). We also visit the old windmill, the hometown of Rembrandt , one of the great painter from Leiden. He explain to us anything about Leiden even though in a very short time but I think its a very efficient short trip to Leiden🙂 My impression: I like how Leiden is really a good environment for study & the city is so nice, its not crowded like Amsterdam, the people are friendly & warm, the city is so classic especially the fact that it has a lot of poetry that people paint in Leiden’s wall (isn’t that cooooool?). That’s why many people want to go to Leiden to study. Many Indonesians study in Leiden University as well.
We met Ahmad lecture’s family before we left Leiden. We met his wife that is now studying in Leicester, UK. So they are both study in Europe & every 2 weeks, the husband visit Leicester to meet the wife & his 3 kids. That is so cool, I always want to do it once I have a family. I imagine me & my husband taking school aboard & we living our family aboard, spending life sometime in Europe / US before we come back to Indonesia. Hehehe. The family treat us with Herring Fish!!!! A very famous & original fish from Netherland! My impression: I LOVE HERRING!!! Ahmad hate it & struggling to eat it while I enjoy it so much. Hmmm when I write this, I imagine myself chewing a herring fish haha!
Ahmad’s lecture treat our train from Leiden – Amsterdam! Thats the kind of him🙂 We leave Leiden after the lecture said, “You have to come back here soon to continue your study! In Leiden or any part of Europe!” We said AMIN very loud after his saying that sentence😀
Why we come back to Amsterdam? Because we want to buy Souvenirs! Haha. We take 3 hours in Amsterdam to enjoy the city before we left Netherland tomorrow. Pancake become our last food in Amsterdam before we left the city to come back to Haarlem.
RED LIGHT District, Amsterdam in the afternoon + Our Pancake!
Its around 7pm in the night but still so bright when we arrive in Haarlem. We come back to Anne home with the warm greeting from Anne. She suggest us to go out & see Haarlem now before the dawn. So, me & Ahmad taking our own short tour to Haarlem with the Lonely Planet book that Anne has (this book really help us during the journey today as well). We saw the old windmill thats not working anymore (that is now become a museum!), we saw the downtown where the shops are, we saw the church that become one of UNESCO Heritage, and one thing that excite us.. the bridge that can separate with the very cool technology when the big boat passing the under bridge!
After a very tired yet FUN trip with a lot of walk today, we ended up cooking Indomie that we buy from Amsterdam this evening HAHA! Anne make a hot tea for both of us & we spend the last night in her living room with a very warm conversation & discussion about many things like religion, pregnancy in Indonesia & Netherlands, colonizations, traveling, career, life, faith, love, marriage, food, etc. This is a type of host that I really like; the host who really love making conversation with their traveler🙂
In the morning, we left Anne house after a warm hug & goodbye. We left a mug & the cute doll inside that we got from a shop in Amsterdam yesterday for Anne’s baby. Hoping that it will be a reminder of our short visit to Anne’s lovely home🙂
We are heading to Amsterdam Centraal from Haarlem by bus to take the train. Where you going again, Dini? Going home. Yes. We going back to Paris to catch our flight from Paris to Indonesia. Meeting with those 5 kiddos, the Winner of Danone Young Social Entrepreneur, again after we separated in Rome.
One of the reason why we choose to take a train from Amsterdam – Paris is because we want to see the cities between Amsterdam & Paris especially for me, I wanna see Brussels if I am lucky!
Finally, almost the end of my Europe Journey! I will write one more post about Europe Journey to complete the Episode of Europe🙂 The last post will be the very last hours in Paris when we come back before we go to the airport to catch our flight to Indonesia! Also, I will give you the link to the video of LOST IN PARIS made by talented UNPAD students; Riyan & Sheffa🙂
Finally our Jetcost landed in Berlin!! Woohooo!! I am so excited to step into this city! This is one of the dream country in my list! Why? Because my aunt & her family live in Germany for 5 years and more and when they get back to Indonesia, their story make me want to see Germany and to be in Berlin is something that I wanna do. We arrive in the Schonefeld airport and then we would like to take the S-Bahn (metro/train) to the Brandenburg Gate!
1st thing that make us realize this is a very hi-tech city is the S-Bahn ticket machine! Ha! Its very difficult to take the ticket from the machine, they have more complex machine than other city we visit in Europe and not only us, some of tourist that coming with us find it difficult to get the ticket BUT we finally get it!
When we go out to the train, its so empty and in our way to Brandenburg, the city look so silence. We feel like in The Walking Death movie or something haha! Until we get down from the S-Bahn and we meet this icon of Berlin: this cute Bear!!!
S-Bahn, metro or subway train in Berlin.
Starting of the view of Hi-Tech urban city! Never found this cab in any cities!
Cool yet neat bikes on street!
1) Brandenburg Tor – Bundestag – ‘West’ Germany!
We start the morning (still with our backpack of course) to see the legendary Brandenburg Tor! Finally I can step my feet in front of this legendary gate that used to separate West Berlin & East Berlin. What I like about this place is I still even can feel the history! They make a lot of information & footprint in this place.
Information about Pariser Platz
Brandenburg Tor, finally!
Information about Brandenburger Tor
We walk from this gate into Bundestag, Berlin’s Government Building. When we stand in front of the building, we can feel it.. we can feel the strong of this country. I think they really have a good architect who design the building in Germany that for me.. everywhere I step is always breathtaking! The building for me, represent the country.. strong, free, and independent! Oh, and also high-technology & smart!🙂
Another funny Deutsche on street🙂
The Govt Building!
2) Nazi Points of Interest – History in The Road!
When you pass Bundestag and just walk across the loooooong street but very neat-clean-white road, you will feel that you pass the history! In your right & left, you can see many Nazi points of interest & you will feel the history, you will feel that you walk in the very very important place in history. This make me got ghost bumps when I pass this looong street that seems so short in the beginning.
Do you feel the history?🙂
So funny & smart!🙂
I feel a ghostbump..
So Hi-Tech Toilet😀
What Represent Berlin🙂
Can you believe this is a HUMAN?? Isnt that COOL?
It taste soo good in cold city like Berlin to warm ur body!!!
3) East Berlin.. My Favorit!
When we pass West Berlin, what comes into our mind is, Why Berlin is so silent.. not many people passing the road, every people are just silent&no smile. Thats what I used to think about Berlin until I found East Berlin! I found very pretty buildings, the old one, that also I can feel the history🙂 I found so many people starting to pass the street, inside the train, in the building, etc. And we met my friend’s friend, Yulia Iskandarwho study her bachelor degree in Berlin, she is one of smartest & lucky people from SUBANG who got the scholarship from their Local Govt to study in Germany! Isnt that a great program from local Govt of Subang?🙂 Yulia is also our hero in Berlin! She finally the one who host me in her room & host Ahmad in her other-Indonesian-scholar male friend’s room. In the end, I left my gloves in her room! Haha I think its a sign that maybe we going to meet again someday, in Indonesia / Germany😉 Thanks Yulia for showing us Berlin in 2 days & hosting us in you & your friend’s warm room :)) A stranger that became a friend🙂. Oh thanks also for Gugun, my friend who is now studying in Hartford Univ, USA who introduce me to Yulia!
The Legendary ALEXANDERPLATZ!
One of the oldest University!
My Favorite Building!!!🙂 So STUNNING!!!
We also went to the cemetery of the people who died in the war and then we see Brandenburg Tor again in the night! The light is so good that make that gate become so stunning in the night! After that, Yulia take us to her home & we bring Ahmad to her friend’s home. After I arrived in her home, we cook Indomie! Feel sooo good eating Indomie at that cold night in Berlin🙂
In the next morning, we have our flight to Amsterdam at 12 and we happen to see Olympia stadium before we go to airport. In the train station, we say goodbye to the kind Yulia that take us everywhere during our short trip to Germany! Thanks for your kindness and we wish you a great luck for your study in Germany. Come back soon to Indonesia & make a change in your village..to your country🙂
After spending 5 days in Paris, we check out from the hotel in the morning and continue the journey to the south part of Europe; ITALY! When the first time I plan to have the trip, I hardly have to choose which country that I can visit after Paris with only 6 days left! The choices in my mind at that time are: Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Prague. Then I decide to pick Netherlands & Germany first because those 2 countries are on my list since I was kid. Then why I choose Italy? Simply because they said the food are goods, the people are so friendly, the price quite cheaper than other and because a lot of remarkable & unique buildings are there!
We fly with Jetcost airline from Paris Orly to Rome FCO. Jetcost is one of the cheap airlines beside Ryan Air. Ryan Air mostly offers the flight to small cities in Europe while Jetcost still can cover bigger city / the capital city of each country in Europe. Book the ticket long time before you go if possible, you can get very cheap ticket to go to country to country in Europe! Even the flight is cheaper than the train or bus.
I am questioning before I arrive in Rome FCO whether we will get stamp in our passport once we arrive in Rome airport or not since we have already Schengen Visa that can be used to all countries of European Union. And you know what, you will never get a stamp in your passport as the proof that you step in in Rome or any countries you visited after your first entry. I feel like traveling within cities but in fact I travel within countries (Paris to Rome). So when we get out from the airport, you don’t need to show your passport to the immigration officer, it so free and easy. Now it makes me think how easy to trade around EU or having cooperation in any sector, many benefit that we can get as the EU nations. Do you think someday ASEAN will be like that?
Silmy, one of the DYSE Team from UNPAD already booked the hotel in central Rome called “Marcantonio” and with the Iphone technology that she had, we can easily find the hotel using GPS. The afternoon in Rome we spent to go to Colloseum and Reruntuhan Roma. I always wanna see Colloseum after watching Gladiator and finally I can get in, feel the history and taking picture! We get in with the ticket 11 Euro and we get access for both Colloseum & Reruntuhan Roma.
After that, we wanna go to Vatican! Its like in the very corner of Rome and we choose to use metro to go to Vatican. Surprisingly, its not that far and we realize that Rome is not that big. The city is so warm! We don’t even use our coat during the day in Rome. The people are so friendly especially the boys, they really know how to flirt woman, Haha! But be careful of the pickpocket, they are everywhere and even more than in Paris. I also realize that the people in Rome really know how to enjoy their life. I remember the movie Eat Pray Love when there is a term “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing” when Julia Roberts in Italy and now I understand what does it means for Italian.
We stop in a very very delicious restaurant near Vatican. I order the pasta and its indeeeed deliciouuus! There is a funny story when the waitres flirting to one of our group!
We arrive in Vatican in the evening and its already dark. Too bad we cannot see Vatican in the daylight but to see it in the night is already beautiful! The building tells everything about whats inside. Now I can feel standing in front of Vatican where usually I saw it only in the TV or newspaper or internet.
We had a very peaceful and good evening in Vatican and then we decided to go back to our hostel late night.
In the next day, me and Ahmad leave the students and we decided to continue the journey to Venice because we would like to go to Berlin & Amsterdam after that. The students choose to stay in Italy for 6 days in Rome-Florence-Venice. On the way to Venice, we realize that we will pass Pisa Tower and its located in Florence! Then, we decided to drop in Pisa Tower by train from Rome before we directly go to Venice. In the afternoon around 2.30 pm, we finally see one of the 7th Wonder in The world in front of us! It’s a very warm weather around Pisa tower and we chill out in the area near Pisa Tower where so many people also with us at that time.
At 4.30, we leave Pisa Tower and go back to the train station to catch the train to Venice. It quite close from the train station to Pisa Tower and it basically a very small city that has one of 7th Wonder of the World! We take the train to Venice and it’s a very comfortable train! We finally arrived in Venice around 10.30 pm. Yes. Its already night and unfortunately we cannot see the beauty of the canal in Venice in the daylight. We decided to eat in one of restaurant. I order pasta and Ahmad order his pizza. Yumm! I have a very delicious pasta and I guess everything in Italy is delicious!🙂
We have a morning flight tomorrow to Berlin at 8.30 AM so the first plan is we going to sightseeing Venice at night then sleep in the train station and in early morning we will take picture for a moment and then take morning bus to the airport.
We go around Venice at night and its so quite! Everything closes when we pass the city around 12 midnight. It’s a very unique and classic city if I may say. Everything is still seems so old and classic. They don’t have any public transportation in the road. People travel with boat in the city! Every avenue you will see there is a boat and a canal. That’s why many people said this is a very romantic city. But for me, this place did not really have many attractions to do. So, if you are type of person who looking for adventure and easy to get bored, don’t spend your honeymoon in Venice😀 We almost go round the city in only one night!
After our feet so tired, we decided to go back to the train station to take rest. BUT! Zonk! The train station already close! They lock it! We try to find any restaurant that still open but the result is NONE! We try to find any place that still open but they are all close! Its very cold outside and we don’t know where to sleep and there is no bus to the airport. In fact, its 2 am when we finish go around the city and the 1st bus is at 4.30.
Finally, we try to sleep in the street in front of the restaurant. 15 minutes after that, there is a very wild wind that make us cannot survive there so we move to other warmer place. But in 5 minutes, it still the same! Then we move again and finally we ended up try to sleep in front of the place where people buy the bus ticket. The wind and weather that night very cold and we really suffer that night. We decided to take the 1st bus to the airport and forget about taking photo in early morning! I feel like almost die that night and I really think that I will die at that night because I cannot even feel my feet, hand, and body. We barely cannot sleep and finally the bus coming at 4.30!!! We run to the bus like crazy and THANK GOD that we SAFE that night! I don’t wanna die cold in Venice! We just laugh in our stupid action on why we take the evening train to Venice and we ended up cannot see Venice at night and almost die because of the coldness! Well, SHIT HAPPENS in Italy. But still, it is a very unforgettable moment on how I can survive from the very cold weather in the night! One of the memorable moment in Europe!
Even though shit happens, but Italy is awesome for all the delicious food that they have, the hospitality that they have, and has the cheapest price among countries in Europe that I’ve visit!
We sleep in the airport, waiting in front of the gate of Jetcost that will bring us to Berlin! We are more than excited yet tired to continue the Europe journey to Berlin! One of the country that I’ve been dreamed since I was kid! Berlin.. here I come! *Continue to the next chapter!*
After 2 days exploring the pretty Paris by ourself and mostly with Metro and walking, we finally facing the main 2 days of our trip to Paris; “Paris Social Entrepreneurship Trip”. I actually proposing this kind of trip to the Danone Paris team so we are not just having a visit to Danone and thats all. So the agenda is the winning team from UNPAD will present to Danone office in the 1st day in front of Danone team & Danone China who also come to Paris.
I also get chance to present about “Danone Young Social Entrepreneur” (DYSE) in front and I am so excited hearing the good feedback as well as the suggestion from the team about DYSE. After the presentation, we also get feedback for the BIMASAKTI project from the audience. Then, we leave the office and visit Danone Research Centre in Palaiseau.
We close the 1st day with a very warm dinner in MONTMARTE! Yes, Montmarte!my favorite place in Paris! There is a traditional France restaurant that has delicious France food! I just realize that actually Paris has a very delicious food, we just need to pay more expensive to get this kind of food, hehe. Also, wine is very popular in Paris and they said Paris is a place for good wines. Well, i am not trying it but some of the people did the wine tasting this night..
We go back to the hotel by Metro and we are a bit lost since we are so tired and its damn cold outside. Its around 11 pm when we arrived in the hotel and I cannot stand to not sleeping once I touch my bed in the hotel.
10 April 2013, Paris Social Entrepreneurship Trip!
This day is one of the important day in my life. I still remember the day when I got interview with my Director who is very provocative in a good way to push me to keep innovate and making things happen!😀
My Director : “So, what is your long term aspiration?”
Me : “I wanna be a Social Entrepreneur in leading Eco-Travel & Eco-School in Indonesia and thats why I wanna learn how to create the business and social hand in hand like Danone.”
My Director : “Hey, do you know La-Ruche? You remind me of this place! I was there 2 years ago and I was impress with the place. Its a hub for hundred of Social Entrepreneurs start up in Paris and your aspirations sounds familiar with people that I found in La-Ruche!”
Since that time, I googled La-Ruche.net and I emailed people from La-Ruche because I am so interested with the place! Even one day, My director ask me to make a social business together like La-Ruche, make a co-working space that start up can rent it and we manage the agenda and schedule while making the collaboration happen. It was in August 2012.
Well, until now, we still not making that happen (still in the making) but this day, 11 April 2013 is a very special day for me because we finally got chance to visit La-Ruche :)) Its in June when my director interviewed me before I join Danone & introduce me with La-Ruche and after 9 months working in Danone, I finally can visit the place directly. What a dream comes true! I also meet the person who recommend by my director to meet: Miora, a founder of la-Ruche that is now working for Danone. Miora is insanely smart & awesome! She actually the one who make the program of social trip today happen. She contact her networks in social business in Paris and arrange the visit with us today. She take us to a full packed trip to social business practices in Paris in 1 day.
So we have chances to visit:
– La-Ruche & all the social entrepreneurs inside the unique place
– La-Kolok, social business in transmedia to change people’s behaviour
– Ethicando (a cafe that the stuff made by mafia in Italy)
– Moloke Mbombe, mission to protect forest in Kongo by making a documentary movie on whether the dinosaurs still exist in Kongo or not
– Gaite Lyriqs, place to meet up for any creative performance, display, etc – here we met many social entrepreneurs, one of it is from Make Sense who actually now 1 Social entrepreneur from Indonesia (Nadya Saib – Wangsa Jelita)
For me, who has a dream to be Social Entrepreneur, to meet Parisian social entrepreneurs, is something meaningful for me that become another turning point for me.
Night of YY Cocktail
After all that insiring trip, we finally come back to Danone office to attend YY Cocktail (Yunus & You). It is a forum of social business in Paris and the format is like TEDx where there is a presenter in front and the audience. And you know, BIMASAKTI team become the GUEST STAR in that night! Miora (again), Olivier, and team from YY Cocktail arrange the event and we got around 100 audience at that night!
I am so touchy and impress with all the preparation that they make for us. This night, the YY Cocktail event is really a beautiful ending for all today’s journey. In YY, Bimasakti present the project again, I explain about DYSE, and many many many questions and feedback for the project of BIMASAKTI which is to turning inmates become entrepreneur by making mushroom nugget called “KLUNI: Karya Lapas Untuk Nutrisi Indonesia”.
Its really a big success for YY Cocktail that night where many participants are actively involved in the discussion and even after the event, they still stay to chit chat with all Bimasakti team member and us. We feel so much appreciated by their respond. Even this day, Bimasakti got a lot of feedback and suggestion from all the places that we visit and they have to present many times in different places and different audience🙂 I think its really a worth moment for all the students and tonight, its their night. They are the STAR!🙂
This is our last night in PARIS! Can you believe it? We didnt even have time to buy souvenirs! HA! Although we are so happy that we make it into all the places that we wanna go visit🙂 Tomorrow, we have to leave Paris to continue the Euro trip to Rome by plane at 9 am. But we feel like we dont want to leave Paris. For me personally, I love Paris from the 1st sight.
That night, me and Ahmad (the Campus Manager) take all our luggage in a very kind-hearted family of Pak Karyanto Wibowo. He’s a SSD in Danone Indonesia that assign in Danone Paris for 2 years and he bring his wife + 2 kids there. We have a warm conversation that night in our last night in Paris! Being in Pak Karyanto home, looking at their kids studying while the wife is patiently supervise the kid and taking care of the home, make me feel want to be in Europe / US for study and stay for a couple years with my own family :”)
Its always nice to meet people from the same country with you in other country. Like tonight, when we met Pak Karyanto, I feel so happy and feel that we are not alone🙂
After 4 days in Paris, me and Ahmad decided to continue the trip to Rome-Florence-Venice-Berlin-Amsterdam-Paris and this is our itenerary:
11-12 April Rome-Florence-Venice
13-14 April Berlin
14-15 April Amsterdam-Harleem-Leiden
16 April Leaving for PARIS
16-17 April Journey to Jakarta!
While the students stay in Italy exploring the cities from 11-16 April, me & Ahmad separate with them in Rome and we meet again in Paris at 16 April. This is one of the great journey I’d ever have in my life! I just realize that if I go to Paris in 2010 when I win TRUST by Danone for instance, I will maybe NEVER had in mind to extend my trip to other cities in Europe but now, because I have the money to go and have the capabilities, I extend it. Thats the good thing on why God not send me to Europe at 2010🙂
Things that I just now is you will not have stamp on your passport once you arrive in other countries in Europe. When I arrive in Rome from Paris, its like you go from Jakarta airport to Yogyakarta airport for example. You dont need to get stamp for your departure in other countries in EU. I am so impress with how strong the EU and I can imagine now many benefits that the EU countries and people get from this cooperation e.g trade, education, access easily to every EU countries, etc.
And, I note that every country in EU has its own characteristic & culture and this is very interesting to see🙂 Also, its very interesting to be able to say Hello/Good Morning in different language during 1 week in Europe! From Merci – Gratzie – Danke – Dank U.
From Bonjour – Buongiorno – Guten Morgen – Goedemorgen🙂
Stay curious to read the next journey to Italy-Berlin-Holland!😉
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