Category Archives: Fun

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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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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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 (below),

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…

Adult Coloring Book

First of all… yes, I’m at home. And yes, I’m procrastinating. I’m so sorry, dear work, research, and… similar stuff :(.

How am I procrastinating –besides writing a blog post, of course–? The answer is… coloring!

A friend *hi, Jen!* introduces me to this new addictive activity. It was addictive when I was a child, but then I moved on to drawing and painting, the more ‘grown-up’ stuff :p. The problem with drawing or painting is that sketching takes quite some time. Most of the time I abandoned my drawing project in the middle of¬†the sketching stage.

I actually knew about the hype of coloring book for adults quite some time ago. I was like, “Awesome!” but didn’t really do anything about it. Just recently, my friend was really excited when she saw a huge collection of this kind of books in Kinokuniya, a bookstore, in Singapore. Hence, I was too :). I bought some and brought them back to home, introduced them to my family. Now they are also addicted :D.

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Cat Café in Singapore

My sister just arrived in Singapore when we decided to visit the Chinatown area. Right after we got out from the MRT station, we stumbled upon a cat café! It is called The Company of Cats, located in the Mosque St.

Now, a¬†little bit of history about cat caf√©…¬†The world’s first cat caf√©, “Cat Flower Garden”, opened its doors in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1998.¬†Then, the concept blossomed in Japan and became very popular, with¬†seventy nine cat caf√©s opened across the country.Wikipedia

Even though I’m an avid cat lover, and these kind of caf√©s have been¬†around the world for quite a while, this would be¬†my first cat caf√© experience. The caf√© was right in front of us, and we felt that the cats were calling for us to come in, so we thought… why not, let’s go!

No wonder we felt being called… with that many maneki-neko!

Before playing with the cats,¬†we had to wash our hands first. Then, the lady there made sure that we know¬†the rules in the caf√©, such as..¬†Don’t lift the cats. Don’t wake the cats up. Don’t kidnap the cats *grin*.¬†Okay, hands are clean, rules are laid down, let’s play!

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Singapore Night Festival

The festival happened around two weeks after Singapore celebrates its¬†golden¬†jubilee, August 21-22 and 28-29. Actually, I found out about this festival accidentally, I’m so glad I didn’t miss it :).

After the ‘cat & bear’s trip to Tioman Island, Malaysia’ (will write about this soon),¬†we arrived back in Singapore on Monday, August 24 evening. On our way to the nearest 7 Eleven to have our dinner, ehem… ’cause I was craving steamy¬†ramen cup :D, we met¬†these cute little fellas in front of National Museum of Singapore..

They’re so cute! I can’t stop moving my body when they start dancing ūüôā

We got a booklet about the festival from a guy hanging around there, that’s how we found out about this. The big events happened only on Friday and Saturday (21-22 and 28-29), but the Anooki, the cute Inuits, celebrates SG50¬†at the Fa√ßade of National Museum of Singapore throughout the week, continuously (with 3 min break each time) from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM, along with the free exhibitions inside (and outside) the museum. Lucky us!

The bear wasn’t so lucky, because we missed the first weekend of events, and he had to leave Singapore¬†on Tuesday¬†night, August 24. Bummer ūüôĀ Well, at least he met the Anooki.¬†But… my sister was indeed very lucky, because she visited me the weekend after, August 28-31. What a perfect timing! Even though we didn’t know about the festival beforehand.

Huzzah!! Free shows! ūüôā

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Singapore for Summer

I’m in Singapore!

And I’m going to be here for the whole summer, 3 months to be exact, for some kind of an¬†internship at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Working on what? Of course… deep learning, baby! ūüėÄ

Well, at least… working on an attempt to solve my research problems using deep learning, because¬†it has become¬†the buzzword of today’s NLP research. Yeah, that’s it.

I actually arrived 2 weeks ago, but only recently I finally get myself settled at¬†my new office, with PC and cards: (from up to bottom) ez-link card for easy payment *for¬†bus, MRT/LRT, swimming pool, printing, and I don’t know what else, probably many more*, NUS access card to get inside my office *even to get inside the room I need this card*, and lastly… my TEP card,¬†which allows me to freely enter/exit Singapore during these 3 months.

I haven’t met my advisor yet, because he was still out of office¬†until this week. So maybe next week. But I’ve met some of the colleagues from the group.

Enough about the working part, now… what can I do during my free time? Singapore is boring, some people said ;), but I’ve checked¬†this list of 50 things to do in Singapore and 52 things to do in Singapore before you die, and come up with my own list, 15 things I want to do in Singapore:

  1. Go trekking: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, MacRitchie Treetop Walk and along the (defunct) KTM railway track.
  2. Go rock climbing at Dairy Farm, Singapore’s only natural outdoor rock climbing
  3. Cycling at the East Coast Park
  4. Cycling in Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa
  5. Re-connect with mother nature at Sungei Buloh
  6. Have a picnic at the Botanical Gardens
  7. Feel on top of Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Skypark
  8. Have a party at the Singapore 50th birthday
  9. Visit a Public Swimming Complex
  10. Visit Sentosa island and Universal Studios Singapore
  11. Visit Haw Par Villa
  12. Take on an escape room challenge
  13. Cultural tours around Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam, plus food tasting
  14. Shop till drop at the Great Singapore Sale
  15. Get trackside at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix ‚Äď vroom vroom *this year it will start on 18th of September, which is exactly the last day of my internship :D*

Some of them I can do by myself, but for some others I need companions :(. So, come here, dear friends! and family *adeeek, ayo sini sini*! and bear! Let’s have some fun in Singapore ūüôā

Trip to Bali and Ijen

The first part of my Bali trip with my family can be read here. 

Om swastiastu… cat and bear were in Bali! Finally the cat could show (a small part of) Indonesia to the bear. We¬†spent 6 days travelling around in Bali. However,¬†one night was actually spent in Banyuwangi, at the east coast of Java, since we wanted to hike to¬†Ijen crater.

In front of Ijen crater

*WARNING*¬†this post is going to be looong :D. In summary, we went to Bali Bird Park, chillin’ at Double Six beach, hiking to Ijen crater, Kalisada village in the northern coast of Bali, then drove¬†down to Ubud. From Ubud we visited Gunung Kawi temple, Tirta Empul, Batur lake¬†and Elephant Cave. If you want to skip the stories, just check the¬†pictures from the trip here. Oh, and check how well the bear can speak Indonesian language¬†in this post :).

Day 1: Bali Bird Park, Double Six beach

After visiting Bali Bird Park and sent my family back home, in the evening, we just relaxed at Double Six¬†beach, had a good chat, while listening to live music and watching planes landing in the airport (as you know, the bear is a flying enthusiast :p). Both of us agreed that, “Hey, this trip starts very nicely, let’s hope that the rest of it will also be great.” ūüôā

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