Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: tu eindhoven

Checklist for Today!

  • Called IND (the Dutch immigration office) and they told me that I could just go to Den Bosch to pick up my new residence permit. Yay! I was already stressing out that I couldn’t get my permit on time because of the stupid invitation letter that I never got :(. I’m leaving to Jeddah in 10 days and I need the permit ASAP, otherwise I have to pay 40 Euro for the exit and re-entry visa. So when they told me that I just needed my old permit and a passport to pick up the new one, I was relieved! 🙂
  • I did a web development job for a new NGO company few months ago. The project has finished but it hasn’t been formally closed. My ‘boss’ called me today and we agreed to have a finalized meeting in Delft on Wednesday. Can’t wait to receive my full pay!
  • Contacted a colleague at Philips and asked if he’s still interested to hire me for a thesis project and he told me to come over this week! Alhamdulillah! I couldn’t be more grateful. If I can do this project, it will be better — I’ll get paid (it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing at all!) and I’ll expand my network and contacts which will hopefully make it easier for me to find a job later when I graduate. I hope. I really hope. Ya Allah please open up the opportunity for me.


Cycling Around Eindhoven

I wasn’t planning to do anything today as I only had few hours of sleep. I was still very tired. I just wanted to stay at home. But then at around 12pm a good friend of mine, Arya asked me if I would be interested to join in for cycling. His cousin was in town for a visit and he wanted to show her around. Since today was my last day of vacation before going back to school, I decided to join them for a city tour 🙂

We first went to the lake near our campus. It’s quite a big lake and it’s a really nice place to do picnic. If it was sunny, we would have done that!

It's so good to do picnic around here!  The teaaam! L-R: Uca, Arya, Elva, Rizky, me

Cycling is fun! Just random picture of us! Hehe.

Sumatralaan! A group of geese. I scared them out. Hihihi.

Then we went to Evoluon, the UFO-like conference center which was originally built by Philips to house a science museum. Evoluon is one of the icons of Eindhoven. It isn’t a pretty building if you look at it in closer distance, though.

In front of the Evoluon, the UFO-like conference building water windmill at the Genneper Parken 

From Evoluon, we cycled towards the south of Eindhoven to the Genneper Parken (Genneper Parks). Nothing much here, except few museums and a water windmill.

Arya & Rizky @ the Gennepen Parken Elva & I in front of the water windmill at the Genneper Parken

In total, we cycled for around 15 kilometers! I could feel my back needed a massage afterwards :P. But it was quite fun. The weather was really gloomy with occasional rain. If it was sunny, it’d be much better! I reached home at around 6pm and dropped dead to sleep right away. I wanted to go to the Turkish mosque for ifthar but I overslept until 9pm! Haha. I was too tired. Great day!

Working with a Dutch

In this semester, I got the opportunity to do group assignment with my Dutch classmate. This is the second time that I work with a Dutch. Most of the time, I always paired up with my “usual” friends who are international students, mainly from Romania, China, Korea, and Columbia. It’s convenient to work with somebody you know, because you know what to expect. You know how they work. You know how to handle problems with them if it ever occurs. It’s more to do with convenience and familiarity.

For this course that I take, the lecturer assigned us into groups of two people, mixing the Dutch with the non-Dutch speaking students. There’s one thing that concerns me the most about doing assignments with somebody you don’t know: what if my group partner doesn’t produce a satisfactory work that leads to the failure of the assignment (or leads to unfair amounts of work to be done between us). I’m quite flexible to work with anyone. I don’t mind working with somebody who has less knowledge about the course than me. But I’d expect that he/she to work harder in completing the work. And I normally become more open (especially to criticize and to be criticized) when it comes to group assignments. Even if my groupmate is my close friend, I’ll never hesitate to tell him/her if he/she does something wrong (for example, not coming to the meeting; or not replying emails; etc). I even almost kicked someone out of my group (even though she’s my close friend) because of her behavior that was quite unacceptable to the rest of the group members.

But anyway, I am lucky again that I team up with someone that matches my expectation. He even leads and manages the whole assignment and decides on how to proceed. I’m not trying to be arrogant or something; but I’m usually the one who leads (“voluntarily”) because no one is eager enough to step up; especially when it comes to taking the first step (which is actually just as simple as sending emails to make appointments for the first meeting!) and getting the project started. But this time my teammate leads everything and I’m the one who give ideas, etc. I enjoy it 🙂 I’m kinda tired to be the project leader all the time.

One thing about working with Dutch people (whether at the university or at work) is that they’ll NEVER want to work during weekends or public holidays. Weekdays are the only time when they do assignments/work and many of them don’t even bring those assignments to be completed at home! I admire them for that because eventually they can still get the work done on time although they have to “waste” two days that can be spent on working on assignments. They work very effectively and they fully respect the need of having the time off. Life is not only about work, they say 🙂

Indonesia Night

I was invited to a rare cultural event called Indonesia Night (which was quite rare in Eindhoven; as most cultural events happened in Den Haag, Rotterdam, Utrecht, or Amsterdam). The event was held for the purpose of introducing the Indonesian culture to some Dutch students (majoring in chemical engineering) who were gonna do a study tour to some parts of Indonesia.

The event was started with a very interesting presentation by Prof. Nas from Universiteit Leiden about the symbols of many places in Indonesia. He did an extensive research about this topic in many cities, particularly in Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Denpasar, Bukittinggi, and Banda Aceh.

Symbols in Place by Prof. Nas

Prof. Nas described Jakarta’s 4 tiered symbolism. The city was first built during the Dutch colonialism time and was centered in what was now Kota (or city center) which was filled with European architectures. During the Old Order (Soekarno’s era), many huge monuments were built, including Monas, West Irian Liberation Statue, and Dirgantara Monument. According to Prof. Nas, Soekarno, who was an architect himself, tried to “neutralized” the city by building these monuments. There were many Dutch or European buildings during that time and Soekarno wanted to display the Indonesian presence or nationalism symbols among these buildings. The New Order era (Soeharto’s) also saw the creation of monuments, one of them was the Sacred Pancasila Monument. In the 1990’s, Jakarta underwent a number of major construction projects; as a result, many high rise buildings started to rise up.


Moving on from Jakarta to Denpasar, the Professor also explained how the traditional Balinese house was constructed. The house was largely consists of a collection of individual separated structures, including the family temple, sleeping pavilion, kitchen, and many more. These structures were located inside a high-walled compound and were organized in such a way that complied to the Tri Angga concept which the Balinese believed. The concept described the three parts: the high (which referred to the sacred mountains or hills), the middle (land), and the low (sea). In terms of the Balinese house, the high referred to the temple, the middle referred to pavilions where they lived, and the sea referred to the kitchen and so on. Prof. Nas even mentioned that the Balinese slept with their head pointing to the direction of the sacred mountain 🙂 This was an interesting concept that I didn’t know about!

After the presentation from an expert, two students gave a presentation about Indonesia. One was a friend of mine, Qonita, who represented Indonesian students who lived in the Netherlands. And the other was a Dutch student who had the chance to live in Indonesia. Both of them gave very interesting and entertaining presentations which I enjoyed very much!

Qonita's Presentation

Qonita's Presentation

Qonita's Presentation

These are the summary of the presentations that they both presented:

  • One thing that really stands out about Indonesian people is that we’re really FRIENDLY! Our door is literally opened to anyone. Guests can come unannounced and we’re always ready and happy to receive them to our house. We’re very generous and wants to show our warm hospitality to our guests. When the guests come or are invited to our house, we expect them to eat (and by that we mean HEAVY MEALS are awaited to be served). This is rather different with Dutch. Making appointments are necessary if you want to visit a Dutch friend in his or her house. Visiting Dutch people during dinner time is a big NO-NO. This is considered a family time for them and they are for certain have no foods left for you; because they cook only for the number of people present on the table 🙂 (whilst Indonesians tend to cook more foods, in case somebody else visits). When you visit a Dutch house, expect light foods, coffee or tea, and no more. Of course, nowadays Dutch people interact with many people from different cultures, so some of them behave differently 🙂
  • Dutch people are very OPEN. They just don’t hesitate to say what’s inside their heads without considering the feeling of others. On the other hand, many Indonesians, especially the “true” Javanese, aren’t very open. They’re too polite so they try not to hurt other people’s feelings. As a result, they’re not able to say what they really have in mind. They say “yes”, although they’re quite hesitant about it (but they’re hesitant to say “no”).
  • Dutch are surprisingly huge. They’re the tallest people in the world. Even the women are very tall! They are white too and as Qonita said: “have pink skin”. LOL. All the western people, including Dutch, love tanned skin, while the Asians, including the Indonesians, would prefer a fair skin (except me, I’m so glad to have this skin color!). The Dutch presenter was actually surprised to find that there was a whitening lotion in Indonesia! 😛 People were obsessed to get white and they would praise her white skin color. In contrast, whitening lotion is nowhere to be found in the Netherlands. There’s a lotion that makes your body tanned or glowing though. Haha!

I was so glad I came to this event! I didn’t expect that it was gonna be this interesting! Knowing other people’s perspectives about your own country was always fascinating. I learnt many things and I had so much fun! The poco-poco dance turned out to be really great and many people took part too 😉

De Nederlandse Klas & Lekker Eten

I had a decent day today as usual. I went to the Dutch class after skipping so many lessons. I was supposed to go to the centrum (city) with teh Rita to explore some sales, but I was stuck in doing chapters after chapters of my Dutch book. It was fun actually and I felt like I didn’t miss anything huge when I went to class.

My Dutch teacher told me something interesting today. The Dutch language for “I sit in front of the computer” is:

Ik zit achter de computer

… which literally means: I sit behind the computer (achter = behind). She said that Dutch language was the only few languages that used “behind” rather than “in front of” in this case. Cool! 😀

After the Dutch class, I had a three-hour-long meeting at the computer lab. Couldn’t believe time ran so quick! But I was glad we made a progress 🙂

Then in the evening, I was invited to Reyhan’s place to have dinner with mbak Rining and Pak Agus. We had a really interesting conversation — well, actually Pak Agus told us so many things about some failures of our education system in Indonesia and some nasty bureaucracy at one of the best universities in our country. I really wanted to share it here but I’m really tired now. Plus, I’ve got an assignment to finish. Hmm maybe next time!

Welterusten! (good night)

Indonesian & Columbian Dinner

BIS dinner

Vanessa and I invited some friends for dinner today at her place. Actually, I wanted to do it at my place, but there are no space to accommodate 10-15 people. So I decided to host dinner together with Vanessa; as both of us haven’t get the chance to do that since we first moved to our new place.

I cooked two different dishes. First was an Egyptian macarona bechamel which had become a famous dish among my friends. I’ve made it several times and friends have come to me to request cooking it 🙂 It is very delicious and I admit that I’m good at making it! Hahaha. That’s the only dish that I’m confident about without having the chance of cooking failure! LOL.

The second dish I cooked was ayam kecap which was the easiest recipe I had ever discovered! (And thank you, mbak Ina for publishing the recipe!). The first time I cooked it was a total failure, because apparently I put too much butter in it. But this time I knew how much I had to put and the dish turned out quite good! At least, everyone loved it! And they loved kecap tooo! (I brought a big bottle of it and told them how to eat it with rice hihihi – the Indonesian way!).

Vanessa and I cooked too much foods. We were expecting at least 15 people to show up but many of them cancelled in the last minute. So we ate too much and our stomach was stuffed! Ah, it was great 🙂

The Closed Door

Seems like this week is a hectic week for me! I didn’t realize it until today. I don’t know how I’m going to manage it, but I have two assignments that are due on Friday this week and on Monday next week. I also have to do the project that I unfortunately failed. Then I have to work for three days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday for the whole day. Not to forget that I have a weekly Qur’an session on Friday night and a dinner party that I’m going to host on Saturday night. This is going to be interesting!!!

Nevertheless, I feel so thankful for I don’t end up at home — alone — complaining how lonely I am with no one around. I have so many things to do and I will keep myself busy for the whole week. The good thing is that, a friend of mine, Maureen, is going to stay with me for a week. So at least I have some company 🙂 .

What makes me feel even more grateful is that, I got a text message from him today. Knowing that there’s someone out there who’s been thinking about you is enough to make me feel so precious. I’ve been blaming this heart for not being able to open its door widely. And I am still struggling with it. My feeling can’t lie. And I can’t do anything about it. But anyway I give up on trying. I’ll keep on living my life and see where this heart will bring me. And I’m sure there’ll be time when my heart is going to open the door without the need of someone knocking it. Amin.

The One With Karaoke

I went to have dinner at Andreea’s place at her Spacebox today. Andreea and I took the Communication Skills class last semester, together with Shilpa, Evans, and Ciprian. There were only five of us in the class, so we knew each other quite well. The class has ended few months ago, so we decided to have dinner together. All five us had to cook and bring a food (potluck). I brought an Indonesian food, gulai, which turned out to be okay (not superb or something 😛 ). Shilpa made some Indian foods (complete with raita and a starter!), Andreea made a roasted pork (which I couldn’t eat unfortunately), while Evans made some bean curry. Sadly to say, Ciprian wasn’t there! He decided not to come in the last minute!! And I wasn’t happy about that!!! But thankfully, Andreea invited her friend so Evans wasn’t the only guy there 😀

The girls The foods! Yum! Karaoke...

Anyway, we had a super great time! Besides the foods (of course!), we did a karaoke. Andreea recorded a video for that and I’m sure it’s awful! Hahaha. She also taught us a dance she did at the student organization; which was quite fun!!!

Next week, a friend of mine, Vanessa, and I are going to host dinner at her place. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know what I’m going to cook (yet!) but I’m hoping that it’s going to be a fun evening! I think there’ll be many people coming (as I kept on inviting people I met!!!). Hope it won’t make me broke hahaha. Can’t wait for it!

Five of us

The Geek in Me


I’ve spent this whole week completing a project assignment with my group mates. The project is supposed to finish last semester, but we kept on delaying it on and on. The motivation in my group (and myself) had disappeared for so long. And it was really hard at the beginning to resume the project again!

Nevertheless, we managed to finish the report. Tomorrow is our presentation. I’m not really sure about the quality of the report. But I hope it isn’t too bad. Fingers crossed.

Let’s just say, I’m glad we’ve completed it.


@ Agni's Place

Dinner at Agni’s place on 25 Feb.