Our Little Playground

As we grow older we forget how to play. We are occupied with other grown up stuff, like build a career, fix troubled romances, emotional love storms, kids, relocation, etc. What is playing? Playing is for kids only..adults don’t play, we work. We must earn our degrees and money, pay mortgages, pay off our debts and study loans. We become really serious, and forget to have fun in a normal way. They say having some drinks with friends and going to the clubs are the normality for adults to have fun. But, really? Do you really feel at ease afterwards and happy. Sometimes you just feel even more knackered than before. And you hate it when your wallets become thinner after you have some fun at the posh clubs with a bunch of friends you don’t even know that well. If you get tired of it then you should probably switch the game.

Playing for adults it’s not the same like it was when we were kids. It is more about competition sometimes and becomes less innocent. The first time you meet a new person, first questions will be:

Where do you work? or what is your job? why did you end up here (mostly expats’ questions)? how old are you?

Do you remember, when we were kids when we met new potential playmates, we did not question them those questions. We just asked them, hey do you want to play with me? And that was it.

Why can’t we just put those template questions aside, and just play with friends? I’ve noticed that from lack of playing for adults can lead to stress, isolated feeling, shortage in creativity .

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Here is my story… I am lucky to be surrounded by creative creatures around me and there’s always something interesting peeking at the door. One of my best friends, Lu, came up with a brilliant idea early this year when she opened a playground for adults. Her profession as an actress is obviously a “license” to become a qualified facilitator of an adult playground. I am so proud of her that she manages to create her own start-up from scratch out of a thing she is passionate about. Originally from Buenos Aires, she moved to Amsterdam for love and at first she was like me. Clueless. Struggling to fit in. Fast forward 4 years later, she has found her place, and has created her own  beautiful family.

I came to one of her sessions, and found myself playing and connecting with other people whom I never met before in an inspiring, non-competitive and non-judgmental environment. We danced, we did crazy acts, we sang, we screamed, we joked with each other. I came home with a big smile from ear to ear. It was definitely a really good time and perfect way to break from routines. This was not my first time playing, I have been to many other “playgrounds” since I live in Holland. It does not matter what kind of playground you choose, as long as you feel happy, stimulated and welcomed.

We went to her theater play on Sunday evening. She is taking part in Argentinian theater festival at this moment and has got herself a gig in the festival, and although the play that night was in Spanish (well.. Argentine Spanish which has slightly different accents and they use sometimes different words than the Peninsular Spanish) I understood a tiny tiny bit of what she was saying (also with a help of another Argentinian friend to translate the dialogues)! The theater play was performed and broadcasted live through Skype, and it was double performed by her in Amsterdam and by her best friend – also an actress – in Buenos Aires, it was all synchronized with Skype. It was a very cool and authentic performance,  I was and still am immensely proud of her! and it’s always nice to witness your best friend’s success 🙂

me, the actress, another dear friend who came to support her

 

Enough about my story…that is kinda longer than I thought. Tell me, what games do you fancy to play? What makes you excited and happy? Would you like to share your story with me?

Thanks for reading!

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Nostalgia #1

Our brain stores so many memories.

I treasure memories from when I was still living in Indonesia especially the times when I was in high school because that was the happiest moment of my teenager life.

I had the best group of friends, experienced a horrific education system at high school and survived, had the best theater club ever, and I was really glad that I did not have any boyfriend when I was at high school! Although I had a massive crush on a junior.. he was the most beautiful nerd I had ever seen lol (and yes he had a red old school vespa. I. DIE.)

I think I was really at my most careless moment that time..

Sneaked out and went to schools’ art events (pensi=pentas seni), stayed late at theater rehearsals in a middle of nowhere, had an escapade to Bandung with my girl friend’s new car, totally lost it when our band performed at a rock festival ( Otong* aku padamuuu !!! ), ….. Precious. And then got grounded of course hahaha!

Once I finished high school I went to an all-girl Catholic college and that was the beginning of my depressing era, lasted for 2 years. Mainly because I did not have friends and had totally different interests and hated the girls’ politics.

I luckily then met the best classmates (German class rocks!) and we still are best friends until now. My ladies, if you read this yes this post is for you 🙂

This band has the ambience of my high school era, and I love it to bits it is nostalgic because I left my friends for life there. My young adolescence existence will be forever sweet because these people were there and shared the moments with me.

The band itself is a relatively new, but it is an indie pop band and it has the sound from the 90’s and I cannot recommend them enough for their amazing sounds.

*Otong = lead vocal + guitarist of a rock band from Bandung called KOIL

 

 

Book Review: The Freaky Teppy by Stephany Josephine aka Teppy!

First of all, sorry Teppy for taking so long for me to publish the book review 😦 Soalnya gue nunggu saat yang tepat dimana gue bisa ambil foto dengan background Amsterdam di kala cerah Tep hehehe.

Senengnya gue pas nerima paket berisi bukunya Teppy di kotak pos. Lumayan lama deh nunggu nya tapi akhirnya dateng jugaaa. Kebayar juga rasa penasaran gue karena bukunya di tanda tanganin by Miss Teppy herself..ya iya Tep kali aja loe ntar bersanding sama Mike Lewis trus jadi beken banget. Mayan deh kali aja buku loe bisa gue lelang! hihihi *matre*

Pertama buka buku, gue baca dulu dong review nya orang – orang kondang tentang buku ini, alias para endorsers semacam Uli Herdinansyah, Ernest Prakasa, dll.

Teppy nulis dengan bahasa yang ngalir kayak temen loe lagi curhat di samping loe. Dimulai dari perjalanan dia sejak masih SMA, kuliah, ngajar anak TK, magang sampe kerja beneran. Dari cinta monyet yang naif bener (ya ampun Tep loe dangdut bangeeett pake acara nyatetin buat pacar segala) sampe cinta bertepuk pundak sama bos nya pas dia magang. Dari mati matian ngejer deadline tugas kuliah yang bener bener berani mati sampe hampir aja mati gara gara naek bus laknat demi nonton band idola di Dieng! Dan, obsesi sang Penulis kepada Mike Lewis yang semoga aja berbalas, semua bikin buku ini menarik banget buat dibaca.

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Midweek Rants

I have been drowning in my to-do list again this week..dealing with audit, dealing with new financial year resolutions, and I am also recuperating from griep (influenza). At work, we are having performance appraisal circuits for the next three weeks. HR department is introducing the new way of performance appraisal, and guess what kind of new way? Yep, online appraisals. The company suddenly decided to implement online appraisal method to assess employee performance. I am tired of these online and all digital stuff. There are things that are better online, and there are MOST def things that are better off online. With online appraisals, we cannot communicate or convey our desires, our complaints, or our ideas as lively as offline (oral). Anyway, I am just curious how HR are going to follow-up on this new way of appraisal will it be a success or will it be a major disappointment?

I am thrilled to see a dear friend this weekend. She will visit Amsterdam in the weekend. She had been relocated to Paris a year ago and we do not see her too often, the last time I saw her was on our wedding party 🙂 So we are going to catch up and drink cups of coffee, and exchanging stories. If we are lucky, maybe we will go for a dinner too! I am happy that the rest of the girls can join us because it is a short notice invite. And what happens with a short notice in Holland is, people cannot simply swing by! My friends and me, we have adopted the local custom, though I am pretty mild in implementing this new habit, my other friends are quite die-hard believers in scheduling their agendas! Well, this is understandable because we juggle a lot with work, social life, chores and families so a good planning is really important. And some people are just not quite flexible with their agendas. It is funny to see that these people I am talking about are non-Dutch, they come from countries that are known of its laid back attitude and always say tomorrow, tomorrow for every occasion. But how different they have become since they live here it amazes me! 😀

I am lucky that my husband and I are pretty flexible with our schedules. He never mind if I want to spend my evening after work at the cinema or at a restaurant with a bunch of friends. And that goes the same with me, I do not mind if J goes to a friend’s house after work.

So, I have to dash to bed now because I am going to need it since I have been really busy at work and did not really have a proper sleep for a few days. Yesterday when I was on a massage chair (we have 0n-site massage facility), the masseuse told me that I was really tensed that I should get a proper or a full body massage in the weekend.  Since on-site massage here only serves each staff with a (good) twenty-minute massage on a chair, it will not really release the stress and help my tensed muscles..I have been meaning to visit my regular place for an hour (or more) joyous and happy muscles kneading session, so maybe I will do that too in the weekend. If not, I might be putting some koyo’s all over my shoulders to release this muscle pain!

Koyo Cabe

Koyo Cabe

Things We Learn

There was a story when my parents came to visit me last September. This was their second holiday outside Indonesia, well…if you can call “umroh” as a holiday :p . I left Indonesia when I was young..well, Not that young but I was cute enough and I would be asked for my ID if I wanted to buy liquor at the supermarket :p ..  I do not see my parents much not only after I live abroad, but far before that I also already used to live by myself. When I was just 17, I left home for the first time and got to taste the sweet of freedom. I had to live in an all-girl boarding house nearby the college. And when I was 19 I came back moving in again to my parents’ house for about a year or so before I flew to Germany. So, I have been away from home like almost 11 years in total :O

Thus, they arrived in Holland. Stayed at our place, and as débutant tourists they were really amazed on how clean Amsterdam was and how many cows were scattered in outskirt areas (I hadn’t taken them anywhere in their first days because we were busy preparing the wedding). During their stay, they sometimes made comments that made me smile and I didn’t really realize it before. For instance; they noticed that I could cook traditional and healthy dishes they loved and took care of the household chores aptly. For me, it was really normal because I cooked almost every day. Besides that, they said that I was active and really independent. I giggled, because I thought they were joking 😀 my parents never made compliments before! But they really meant it. I then realized, of course..we had been apart so long and now it was the first time for them to see how and where I lived, and experienced the daily life with me again.

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Happy Autumn!

I finally have internet at home! and I finally can write a blog post, but first let’s start with showing how happy I am that we finally enter beautiful Autumn in Europe! Autumn marked with my dear friend leaving Amsterdam to her hometown in Buenos Aires together with her not-so-Dutch boyfriend they will temporarily stay there to fulfill their dreams!I am gonna miss her a lot but I am really excited and wish her luck for their/her endeavors!

{ Conejo and Lu, all the best for you both and see you guys next year!}

Then, I got a job contract extension which I am so thankful to acquire! Still enjoying my time there in all – men department. Nice colleagues, crazy colleagues, and lots of Sample Sales.

Celebrated my father in law’s birthday in a fantastic place!

{Beautiful and romantic castle in Germany}

And last but not least, I have a place to call home now. Though there’s still a lot of things to do and to fix in the house, it is a home. Will keep you all updated with the before and after pictures! That’d be fun to see.

Paris…Je t’aime!

Eiffel Tower..overcast..not the best picture I know..

Last weekend, me and my girls went on a road trip to Paris. We’d been planning the trip since aaaggeess! However we managed to escape from cruel and rainy Amsterdam for a couple of days. Since it was a budget trip, what we did were all budget-proof. We ate breakfast and lunch at cheap restaurants/cafe in Latin Quarter..(but really amazed with the taste..so good!), and walked around the city to all touristy spots by foot, like :

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