How Often Do I Travel?

I started documenting my travel statistics since the second half of 2010, which coincided with the time I moved to Europe for my Master study, simply because before that.. I didn’t really travel much. Here I define travel as “deliberately going away from the city/region I am living in, either for fun or business, for more than a day.”¬†This includes: city-hopping trip, road trip, going home when I’m living abroad, and attending conferences and summer schools.

In the beginning I only documented the start and end dates, and thus the total days I was away, which is 65 days per year in average. If we exclude weekends and public holidays (observed in the country I was living in), we arrive at 42 days per year in average. What about vacation days? Counting days I was relaxing at home and fun trips, but not business trips (conferences, summer schools), I have 36 vacation days per year in average, which is still higher than the number of paid-leave days in countries with the most paid leave days, Brazil and France. I’m quite lucky I guess ūüėČ

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Welcoming 2017 and My 2016 in Review

A little bit late, but… hello, 2017! ūüôā

I’ve planned and started¬†two commitments for this year. The first one…

The second one is something that I actually started 3 years ago, yes, to master German (with Duolingo)! I’m going to start a stickK commitment soon, after a paper deadline. It seems to be an interesting concept, a friend has tried and recommended¬†it. The idea is: you set your goals, then¬†you can set a referee who verifies your reports. You can also¬†(optionally) set the stakes, in which the money can go to either a friend or foe, charity, or anti-charity, if you fail your commitment. Let’s see how it goes ūüėČ

As for my 2016 in review, inspired by a friend who reviewed his year by embedding¬†the highlight of his tweets for each month, I’m going to do the same! But I don’t tweet anymore, so I’ll embed my Facebook posts instead.

TL;DR: 2016 was a great and hectic but exciting year for me. A year of change and transition. I finished my PhD. I went home for 2,5 weeks. I started a Postdoc position, moved to Germany. I went to Japan for the first time, went back again two months later. And finally I turned 30.

Now, let’s start with…

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La Bicicleta

by¬†Carlos Vives & Shakira. If I think of summer 2016, I will have this song playing in the background ūüôā

As a beginner cyclist–my first biking trip was four years ago, only¬†one year after I learned how to ride a bike–, I’m quite satisfied with the biking trips I did this summer: Bolzano-Terlan-Bolzano (30 km), Bolzano-Salorno (34 km) and Saarbr√ľcken-Sarreguemines (20 km). Through these trips I learned that my current limit is 30 km, and on the last two trips I took a train back home ūüėõ . Well, baby steps, next time it will be 40 km.

The picture on the left–my cousin Dhika and Simon– was from the first trip to Terlan, right after I defended my thesis, so I was feeling super free and happy, and in the I-can-do-everything mood. The right one–credit to Daria– was from the last trip to Sarreguemines, in which I was the slowest one in the group ūüėÄ , but I still enjoyed it a lot. The weather was super nice (for Saarbr√ľcken).

I learned my limit quite harshly actually, from the second trip (until Salorno). I was quite sure I could make it to Mezzocorona, just 8 km more, but first I wanted to have a short break. Unfortunately, I stopped too close to the (quite) steep riverbank, and my cramped leg failed to bear my weight, so I tumbled down. Thanks to some bushes I didn’t get wet ūüėõ , but I paid my price because some of the bushes are stinging nettles.

Anyway, that doesn’t stop me… I will¬†definitely go for another bike trips! ūüėČ

Secondly…

Yes, I’m addicted to Zumba! ūüėÄ I’d been wanting to try it since last year, and finally last month I had a courage to join a course here, offered by the Saarland University sports center. I didn’t know that I would have¬†so much fun!

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Keep Pushing (the Boundary)

I was re-organizing my bookmarks the other day, which were¬†just a collection of links that I found interesting… at some point in my life. Some of them can’t even be opened¬†anymore.

Anyway, I found this one that is actually quite relevant with my situation now:

Matt Might, a professor in Computer Science at the University of Utah, created The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D. to explain what a Ph.D. is to new and aspiring graduate students. [Matt has licensed the guide for sharing with special terms under the Creative Commons license.]

Reminding me how little my ‘contribution to knowledge’ is and to not forgetting¬†the big picture. So yeah… let’s keep on pushing! ūüôā

Not So Wise No More

Picture was taken from here

I woke up sometime last week with a sore throat, I thought “Uh oh, flu is coming…” However, the pain then moves also to my ear, and¬†my head… but only on the left side. That’s when I knew that my upper-left wisdom tooth was causing trouble, again.

Last year, when I was home in Indonesia, I went to a dentist hoping that he would take this troubled tooth out, because I noticed that it grew abnormally towards my cheek. He dismissed me with pain relievers -.- One year later, the tooth grew bolder and causing me pain when I, 1) still don’t have any health insurance in Italy because I’m in the process of renewing my stay permit, and 2) only two weeks away from going back to Indonesia.

At first I was like, “I will endure the pain and wait until I’m back in Indonesia so I can get it removed there (with a considerably lower cost)!” After just one day I gave up and looked for a dentist here.

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Canyoning in Passeiertal

Picture was taken from here

This was the most recent adventure I did :). The activity was organized by the Sports Club University Bolzano, but non-members or even non-students were also allowed to take part. With 30‚ā¨ fee, transportation, barbecue and equipment are all included, which is quite a great deal. Furthermore, the activity was guided by professionals from Acquaterra, so it’s completely safe even for a beginner.

To give you an idea of what canyoning is about, just watch this video.

We did it at the exact same place as in the video, although… with less sunshine and more water. Actually, it was raining when we did it, and somehow the current was too strong (or there was too much water) that the guides decided to cancel the last sliding/jumping/swimming.

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So… What’s up?

It has been 5 months since the last time I wrote here. What has happened since then? A lot!

First and foremost, I’ve finally finished my PhD! ūüėÄ This was probably the main reason why I’d been neglecting my blog for so long. The first three months of this year I was basically in a frenzy of thesis writing, experiments, paper writing and… job hunting. After the thesis was submitted on March 25, the madness still continued with preparations for the PhD defense: making presentation slides, hosting my sister and cousin—who came to give supports on the D day, thanks a lot, Dita and Dhika! :*— and arranging graduation parties. Finally, the D(efense) day was April 12, on which I was declared as Dr. Paramita Paramita! ūüôā

This was followed by another frenzy of post-doc position hunting, sending CV here and there, and a series of interviews (onsite and¬†online). Considering the options for the future was also giving me headache. Anyway, I’ve picked one that I believe to be the best for now, let’s see…

Life was definitely much more relaxed in May, but… my domain paramitopia.com was expired, and the website¬†where I registered this domain doesn’t¬†offer an easy way to pay the renewal fee :(. So, I will definitely¬†change the domain registrar. In the meantime, I bought another domain paramitamirza.com, which sounds more professional ;). I plan to host my academic/professional profile—publications, research activities, research output, etc.— in this domain, along with my blog. For now, only the blog is set up, but¬†at least I can start writing blog post again.

And now it’s June already!

I will try my best to fill this blog again with things happened during those 5 months¬†hiatus. Stay tuned! ūüėČ

Ahoj, 2016!

Thank you for the great time, 2015… let’s hope 2016 will be as wonderful¬†ūüôā

Now, a little bit of what happened at the end of 2015…

To explain the title, which means Hello, 2016!” in Czech, it’s because¬†for the new year’s eve we decided to join a friend’s plan to stay at¬†a holiday house a.k.a ferienhaus somewhere up in the mountains of¬†Czech Republic: with 5x bedrooms and 2x bathrooms/toilets for 10 – max. 22 persons, without landlord. Judging from my past experiences of staying in a ferienhaus in Horn√≠ Blatn√°, and by looking at the pictures (above), I imagined a holiday house in a small village surrounded by forest, with tranquil and romantic atmosphere. However… in reality…

Do you see the little house there surrounded by plattenbau instead? ūüėÄ ^^;;

Anyway, it was a nice place although… with 22 people in a house *and only 2 bathrooms!* it was a bit too crowded for me :”>. We got to eat the very yummy and¬†tasty Czech food though, and drink cheap but good pilsner *for bear*, because during our 2 nights there we always had dinner at a restaurant, so I won’t complain much ;).

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Happy Birthday(s) and Happy Holidays!

First of all, for you who celebrate the birthdays of two prophets, which fall on two consecutive days¬†this year, Merry Mawlid al-Nabi and Merry Christmas! ūüôā Have a nice long weekend, and since probably you’ll have a nice long holiday until the New Year, happy holidays!

Next, since today, December 25th,¬†*I wrote this draft two days ago* is also my birthday… happy birthday to me! Now it’s only one more year to 30 ūüėČ

So thankful for all the¬†presents¬†*for Christmas or for birthday I regard them all as my birthday presents ;)*, although ‚ôę all I want for Christmas is you ‚ôę ehem, like more colors to accommodate my new hobby, interesting jigsaw puzzle and books, candle holder decorated with cats, etc.

The picture above contains my birthday presents from the bear, typical Australian stuff since he’s just back from Brisbane *after 2.5 months*. The fluffy Kolala, the very left on the picture, hugging her baby, is actually a reward for the cat being self-restrained on browsing¬†social media and (especially negative) news; the baby kolala is a reward for the cat being (so¬†unusually) sportive *e.g. completing at least 5,000 steps a day* while the bear is away :”>. The mango beer and chocolate are simply because I love mango and chocolate.¬†The last item is actually an audio card. The sound of conversation between mama koala and baby koala can be¬†heard when the card is opened. Anyway, what is inside the card is what is so great and has an interesting background story…

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You Belong To Me

Tonight’s lullaby… An old song, but I’ve been listening to my old playlist and this song just feels so right, right now.

See the pyramids along the Nile, watch the sun rise from the tropic isle
Just remember darling all the while
You belong to me
See the market place in old Algiers, send me photographs and souvenirs
Just remember when a dream appears
You belong to me

And I’ll be so alone without you, maybe you’ll be lonesome too

Fly the ocean in a silver plane, see the jungle when it’s wet with rain
Just remember till you’re home again
You belong to me

I really hope you do…