Category Archives: Blabbering

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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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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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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The Bear and Bahasa Indonesia

So… finally! The bear had a chance to visit Indonesia ūüôā Selamat datang di Indonesia, Beruang! [Welcome to Indonesia, Bear!]

picture is taken from here

Before coming, the only phrase he knows is selamat malam [good evening/night]. After spending a week in Indonesia, Bali and Banyuwangi to be exact, he almost becomes a native speaker of Indonesian language!

…kidding :p. But at least he knows some more words now, hehe.

Selamat pagi, siang, sore, malam

After knowing selamat malam [good evening/night], the next step would be to learn the greetings for other parts of the day: selamat pagi [good morning], selamat siang [good afternoon], selamat sore [good afternoon/evening]. Oh, and also the other selamat like selamat makan [enjoy your meal/buon appetito/guten Appetit] and selamat tidur [good night].

Makasih!

Yep, I taught him how to say ‘thanks’ like a native :p. Once, he said that to a street vendor after buying a bottle of water and biscuits, and the guy corrected him that it should be terima kasih [thank you], the more formal way :D.

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Di Tanah Air

Akhirnya, kembali berada di tanah air. Dan akhirnya… sampai juga di Bali! :D.

Berasa banget kalo lagi di tanah air, karena cuma di tanah air…

  1. mesti hati-hati dikibulin supir taksi di airport. “Mau ke mana, Mbak?” | “The Stones hotel, Legian” | “150 ribu aja, Mbak” | “Meh…” *melenggang berlalu*. Akhirnya saya bayar 100 ribu sih, lumayan hemat 50 ribu.
  2. pada gak bisa ngeliat cewek jalan kaki sendirian. Setiap beberapa meter ada aja yang nyapa, dan¬†nanya, “Sendirian ajah?”¬†atau komentar-komentar gak jelas¬†*catcalling lah*.¬†Memang orang Indonesia super ramah, ya! :p Setiap beberapa meter juga ditawarin ojek dan diklaksonin taksi. Hadoh, saya ini mau sehat makanya jalan kaki. Masa jarak cuma 15 menit jalan kaki manja naik ojek atau taksi. Herannya cewek foreigner¬†jalan sendirian dicuekin aja tuh.
  3. pada gak bisa ngeliat orang makan sendirian di restoran. Para pelayannya pada kepo gitu nanya, “Kok sendirian ajah, Mbak?” Ehem, well, mungkin juga karena saya di Bali sih ya, di mana¬†biasanya orang datang makan berpasang-pasangan :p.
  4. pada gak bisa ngeliat cewek *mungil nan manis* traveling sendirian, nginep di hostel pula. “Hati-hati ya, Mbak, ntar diambil orang”, katanya.

Tenang Bapak-bapak, Ibu-ibu, Mas-mas, Mbak-mbak… Sebentar lagi keluarga saya datang kok. Saya bakal pindah nginep di hotel, dan kemana-mana bakal naik mobil sewaan. Gak melenggang sendirian lagi deh…

Anyway, glad to be home ūüôā

On Cats and Their Affections

picture is taken from here

My mom once said, unlike dogs, cats (as pets) are not feeling attached to the people, but to the house. That’s what differs cats from dogs: the level of affection, loyalty and attachment to their owner. Our cats are free to roam wherever they want, but they always come back to our house, for food, and comfortable place to sleep *sometimes, our warm laps* :D. Yeah, I think cats are affectionate and loyal to someone who provides them food and place to sleep.

That’s of course, just a general theory. There are many cases that made us think differently about our cats. My favorite story, when my mom opened her suitcase and started packing, one of our cats sat inside mom’s suitcase and stubbornly refused to move away, disrupted the packing process, as if he knows my mom would leave house for a while and tried to stop it. Or when I called home and started to call my favorite cats’ names, they said the cats were looking everywhere searching for me because they heard my voice, indicating they missed me (the crazy noisy girl that used to play with them). Or.. a story from the past that I still remember so dearly, on my first night alone without my parents and my sister because they had to move to another island (I was 12, and had to stay in Java for the sake of my education). I was crying the whole night, with a cat stayed still next to my pillow as if comforting me, until I fell asleep. The cat was gone in the next morning.

I’m not sure if the cats are truly thinking like what we are thinking they are. However we, as sentimental humans, will keep on perceiving the actions of our cats as whatever we want: that they love us. That’s why most humans have pets, so that when they feel so low, thinking that no one cares for them, at least their pets do.

There’s another story about a cat, who can’t help but feeling anxious waiting for her bear to come back from his trip in Kyrgyzstan. Does that mean the cat misses the bear? Maybe. I would definitely think she does. And now you might ask what a bear is doing in Kyrgyzstan. I don’t know. Well, the bear mentioned seeing snow leopards and lynxes. Maybe that’s what makes the cat anxious, snow leopards and lynxes are surely more beautiful and attractive than the cat ;).

I miss you, bear…

Pssst… Please

Finally… a quiet evening.

Well, not so quiet since the hostel I’m staying at is exactly at a¬†crossroad somewhere in the city center of Dublin, but… manageable. Anyway, I had a very noisy day today.

First, I got a headache¬†from some Africans’ continuous loud chatter in the train from Trento to Verona. Please don’t get me wrong and call me racist. It’s just that… they talked to each other so loud (more like shouting to each other) and not only 2-3 of them but all 8-10 of them. After 15 minutes and there¬†was¬†no sign that they would stop talking, I decided to find some peace in another car.

Unfortunately, one won’t be able to do that in a plane. When I was boarding the flight from Verona to Dublin, I had this ominous¬†feeling because I saw so many toddlers on board. Oh, they’re so cute, sure. But when they started screaming and crying during the take-off and landing, and running around (also, while screaming) the isle during the flight… I began banging my head and wanted to cry myself. The problem is, usually when a toddler is crying, the other toddlers around somehow could feel his/her pain and start crying too, initiating a choir of screams.

No no, I’m not a children-hater, I just don’t know how to deal with them. I have no experience whatsoever in babysitting, except playing with kittens. And by far, for me, kittens are still more interesting than babies.

I’m not a parent yet, so I don’t know how to handle a toddler, let alone a toddler in a flight.¬†But I do know these babies must feel uncomfortable, or even scared during the take-off and landing. I remember there was this story of a couple of great parents distributing packages of candies and earplugs to all passengers, along with a message,

“Hi! My name is Cade, and I am only 16 weeks old! This is my first ride on a plane. I¬íd like to apologize in advance if my ears start to hurt or if I get scared or cry. Here are some ear plugs (and a little candy) just in case! I hope you have a great flight!”

On today’s flight I couldn’t see well how the parents handled their kids, but at one point, I heard a woman shouted uncontrollably, “Stop crying!!”. So loud that all passengers might hear that. And of course… that didn’t help, the crying and screaming get louder and louder instead. I believe she’s one of the moms, I don’t think an unrelated passenger would say that to a stranger’s kid. Hearing the frustration in her shout, I felt a pang of sympathy. I stopped sighing and put my earplugs (thankfully I have them) instead, though they didn’t help much.

I wonder how much patience does it take for being a parent. Judging from today’s experience, I think… I haven’t collected enough ;).

Women and Balls

Miss Granny is here! I’ve been waiting for this movie (to be subbed and uploaded to a streaming site :p) since the beginning of this year. The theme is a bit similar to 13 Going to 30, or Freaky Friday. After watching the first 2 minutes, I can’t resist¬†to open my blog and write about this. The opening is too damn funny! Besides… I’m a big fan of metaphor ;).

If you compare a woman to a ball…

Then a woman in her teens is a basketball. To catch the ball high up in the air, every man reaches for it as hard as he can.

A woman in her 20s is a rugby ball. Several men attack the balls like dogs trying to take possession of it. This is the only time in life a man will risk his life for a ball.

A woman in her 30s is a ping pong ball. The number of men going after the ball is significantly reduced. But the amount of attention paid to the ball is still decent.

A middle-aged woman is a golf ball. There’s only one man for one ball. And the man tries to send the ball as far away as he can.

And beyond that… She’s a dodge ball.

ūüėÄ