Moving West: Budget (Outfit) Tips to Survive the Cold German Winter

In my other blog, I have posted on how to make your own winter hat despite the yarn and needle size. My yarns were scraped through a sale bin out of the little wool shop in a corner of a town located at the end of the world (Ilmenau). The knitting needle was borrowed. Yep, it can’t get any more low budgety as it already is. But you know, making handmade winter outfit out of scrap sale items ain’t the only way to survive winter. So this is what I have gathered throughout this winter:

  1. Wear Merino Wool Underwear

I have learned from the hikers (aka my boyfriend’s family) that wearing merino wool underwear keeps you warmer more effectively than wearing a shit ton of sweaters because you have something warm directly to your skin. Judging by the fact that their favorite place to hike is Iceland, I give this one a legit point. The problem is, the easiest way to purchase them is in the outdoor stuff shop where its available for a really, really expensive price that a piece of it could be exchanged with a nice pair of leather shoes. But wait, there is a way to get it for an affordable price.

Aldi, one of the German supermarket chain has this for sale once every mid-winter. The problem is there is no certain way to  know exactly when. You have to go check their fliers weekly, because it will be on sale for one day only and the items will be gone within an hour or two. So yes, when you do know when – quoting my boyfriend’s mom – you should stand in front of the door at the opening time. But it’s worth it. Instead of a ripping off price of over 60 euros a piece, I got mine for only 16 instead. If you are a small person like me, rejoice because smaller sizes tends to sell out less faster than the bigger sizes.  Continue reading

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Moving West: January Thoughts

I know I have sworn to write more actively last year, which I have failed…miserably. WordPress annual report has showed me that I have barely made through last year with three post, despite the traffic. Also I couldn’t say that the traffic is a good reflection in this point of view, since most of them came from my older posts.

Anyway, here we go. As you all  know, I have finally graduated my master degree and yet, as year changed I am still in the same spot looking for a chance to start a career. I have been accepted once, then canceled just two weeks later saying that they are moving their base to Singapore so this position is not needed anymore. Second time is not a charm, I have been invited to an interview in Berlin which I thought went very well despite all the time rearrangements since my bus was very very late and I actually had to travel early in the morning in the exact same day where I was supposed to travel for holiday with my boyfriend’s family to Denmark. The interviewer said I sound like I know what I’m doing, told me a lot of things about the company and its future plans, and even kinda told me he likes my determination. And then what? Poof. Nothing. No news, no rejection, no ´sorry we found someone more suitable´, nothing. It was October and this is freaking January. Continue reading

Moving West #2 The Reason

This one is a question rarely asked, because everyone has their own assumption. Many people think just because it´s cool. No, not really. This is something that not everyone can understand, so when they actually asked I just said ´Because I grew up in Canada´. Well, that´s not entirely a lie.

I spent some of my childhood in Winnipeg, and since I was three I was thought to speak up my mind and do what I think I must do despite of what society thinks I should. So when I moved back to Indonesia, I became an outcast. I couldn´t even speak Indonesian though my skin has more or less the same brown tone with the other kids. Although well I´m halfway washed with Chinese genes. Continue reading

Gender Equality: How Deep is the Root?

Everyone’s mind was blown by Emma Watson’s speech about gender equality. It was done splendidly indeed. But I thought, is that really as far as the problem goes? I think different places differs in nearly everything, and so perhaps for this matter it could just be the same. Emma explains as far as how feminism by hating men has to stop, or how boys can feel intimidated the moment they feel fragile because “its not manly”, how a father’s position is not as valued as a mother’s and many others that we might miss because it does not exactly meet the eyes nowadays. So I thought, okay at some point its society customs vs gender equality.

But some small matters that’s going on around me made me realize, the problem in some places has rooted even deeper as something naturalized. Its taken as something as a custom as society, just like boys are not supposed to be fragile or weak or the issues around glass ceiling. It’s quite complicated to explain cause inside my head is jammed with heaps of stuffs, so why not just take a detour with a short story.

So I was sitting in my first German course for this semester and the teacher was throwing a huge dice at us and whichever got it has to make several sentences (depends on the number they got) with especially verliebt, verlobt, verheiratet (fell in love, engaged, married). So at some point  there’s this one Indian girl who got her turn and she stunned the whole class by stating that she has been married for four years, however it was an arranged marriage. The teacher asked for details and she explained, that time her mom asked if she already has a boyfriend, and since she had none so her mother look for a man for her to marry. Shortly, that’s how it was and she said she actually agreed to it. I was surprised because hey, I don’t think this is not even common anymore in Indonesia. Perhaps maybe in very rural villages.

However the problem differs. Ok let me get this straight first. This is not about cheesy reasons like love or finding your own dream guy. No because that would totally be out of topic. What I meant was, for instance in my age it is common for parents to start nagging their children for marriage. You know the phrase. A woman, 35 and not married? Well, she’s expired. A man, 35 and not married? Is he rich or good looking? Either one then he might be a catch.

In Indonesia, especially at around 25 the questions would never be far from: “Are you dating someone? You plan to marry ’em? How many kids?” Well, if you draw an inference then the ladies are rushed to find a husband before 30, otherwise they’ll “expire” and on the other hand, the guys are supposed to save as much money as possible, establish their career in order to be “eligible” to start a family. Its like its mandatory. You’ll be a deviant if not, cause unlike in Western countries, its a sin to live with your significant other if you are not married. So marriage is not exactly just an option to both genders, its mandatory. Especially for woman, if you live with a guy whose not your husband (yet, they say) then you’ll be seen equally as a prostitute. The man? Oh maybe he’s just a bad guy, or a womanizer. Having kids goes the same. What happens with the phrase that having kids is not for everyone? If you don’t want kids then you’re selfish, “Who will take care of you when you’re old? Why don’t you think of your parents feelings who want to see some grandchildren from you?” And depends on the case, it could be bad for either gender. “Woman, no kids? If she doesn’t have medical issues then she must be heartless!!” Man, no kids? “Without offspring, who would inherit our family business?” But you know what’s worse? Unplanned pregnancy. “Abortion? its illegal here because only heartless people do that.” Now tell me whose heartless if someone is forced to make a life-changing decision just because the society says so. You forced them to do so, but for the weight they shall carry for the rest of their lives, will you always be there to support them too? I don’t think so.

So its more like, social customs has bound both genders to a certain point that they don’t have much space to make the important choice for their own life and that’s just preposterous. But my current question is, does anyone else except me consider this as gender equality problem?

baffling things and things that I will have to write

Nearly a year has passed by since I live here in Germany. I start to think over everything that I expect and the things that I encounter. Unfortunately I have to admit that I always put high standards for everything, and now, it fires back on me.

When I came I expect a highly competing situation full of brainiacs. Both my Greek best friend and I thought the same, its gonna be so tough that probably we will have to study so hard not to be the dumbest in class. But now what I saw is research group system – which is actually great, don’t take me wrong- but contrariwise its also a great access for freeloaders. Suddenly I really appreciate my favorite lecturer during my bachelor study – the one that other students always say the killer one- but he is actually very nice. And very fair. Because just because you work in one group doesn’t mean you got the same grade. So I text him and told him what was going on – why I suddenly really appreciate what he did- and he told me: ‘”Of course I remember you, I always believe that you can do your best and you will do great. You always are a distinctive student which I rarely found.” I never expect to hear such word but it gives me courage.

Now that I will have to write four research paper, finish my anpassungstudiumarbeit, then think about a topic for my thesis because I just finished all my courses – I will need tons of self-encouragement…and loads of coffee. All I need to do is ignore the things about these oblivious idiots who always thinks they’re the best and so busy projecting themselves everywhere, while they’re obviously studying self-serving attribution. It’s too baffling that I don’t wanna think about it anymore, all I need to do is focus on what I have to do.

PS. Still working on my plush toys-making some for sale. hope I can manage my time better. will talk about my paperwork some other time.

Good Morning, Finally I’m Turning Back from Being Cast Away

Morning seems a little cold and foggy here..I sense the morning dew as I open my window beside my bed and look to my backyard. Seems like there will be no hot sun burning my skin today, so I guess I’ll go chill in my room, wondering things I would like to write and put them in a neat order. It’s been several months since I haven’t been writing any articles, my thesis consumed all my interest toward textbooks and journals. You can see into my eyes and found out that I’m puzzled, my brains aren’t working straight as it was before. Continue reading

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