Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hijab? What's That?

Indonesia is the biggest Muslim country in the world. Unlike other country with Muslim majority I can say that Indonesia is more moderate. And don’t be mistaken Indonesia is not an Islam country, it means that the law applied is the national law which is derived from the Dutch law since in the past Indonesia was under Dutch colonialism. It is also a democratic country and the right of having a religion is protected under a national law. But…being an atheist or having no religion is a big NO here, everyone must have one religion.

When you arrived at the airport you might see a different situation especially when it is your first time to a Muslim majority country. Many women wear veil to cover their heads and they also wear clothes which cover their whole body. I myself as a Muslim also wear veil. And the women do not wear big black veil like what you might have seen on TV in other countries. Muslim women in Indonesia wear more colorful and I can say more fashionable Muslim clothes.

Jilbab is commonly used term refer to the hair covering fabric for women. Hijab is actually the perfect term for that. And the fashionable Muslim women with hijab is called Hijaber. I am most comfortably wear bergo or the instant hijab. The price is vary from $2 for the low quality to more than $25 for the high quality one. 

Muslim women wear hijab and they also cover their body with loose clothes to show modesty. Women’s hair and body shape are considered to attract men’s lust so that’s why they cover it and just show it to their husband, father, or uncles from their father’s side.
Hijab is wear for daily situation. Your first question for me might be why do I wear hijab? I started wearing hijab last year and I did it because of my faith and I believe by wearing it as means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. It’s my personal choice and it’s my devotion to God. Other Muslim women wear the hijab as a means of visibly expressing their Muslim identity. Some Muslim women wear the hijab to declare their Islamic identity and provide witness of their faith. Unfortunately this association has also occasionally resulted in the violent assaults of Muslim women wearing hijab.

The scarf look hair cover is called pashmina. This rectangle fabric is colorful with variety type of pattern. Lately more and more tutorial on wearing pashmina and hijab are on YouTube, Instagram, or other social media. The tutors have become like a celebrity too, they get many followers and views.

I am  not good at wearing pashmina. I prefer jilbab bergo! It is an instant hijab, you just wear it through your head and voila!

Indonesia is a hot tropical country in dry season, so do I feel uncomfortable wearing hijab in such weather? Surprisingly it’s not that hot. I think it is also depend on the hijab fabric material. So far I feel just good and do not have any problem with the weather. But yes I have problem with my hair. Since it’s more humid so I am facing hair loss and dandruff. Thus, on TV there are many products offer special shampoo for Muslim women with veils. And they show no single hair view on the advertisement. Isn't it amazing? The advertisements say that even in hot day women in hijab can still maintain their beautiful smooth hair by using the product :)

Nowadays more and more Indonesian female celebrities are wearing hijab. And to my surprise too, they get more advertisements and soap opera to shoot. Here are some of famous Indonesian celebrities now in hijab. 

Clockwise: Mairini Zumarnis; Dewi Sandra; Zaskia Adya Mecca; Inne Koesherawati

So now when you visit Indonesia and you look at many women wear hijab, don't be surprised :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Indonesia, The Motorcycles Country

Did you know that Indonesia is the third largest motorcyclist in the world? Every year around 8 million motorcycles are sold around the country. The street is flooded by motorcycle and once an African friend said I'm not Indonesian since I cannot ride one. real Indonesian does ride motorcycle!

Top motorcycle brands are Honda and Yamaha. The two Japanese motorcycle manufacturers predicted that in 2017 there will be at least 10 million motorcycles produce by that year. In Indonesia someone should be at least 17 years old to ride motorcycle though the fact is many students less than 17 ride their motorcycles to school or somewhere near their neighborhood which is definitely against the law and dangerous.

How much does a motorcycle cost. Well the brand new Honda and Yamaha is about 13 - 15 million rupiah or $974 - $1,123 and of course it can be paid by installment. WIth only $70 or less down payment, people can get the motorcycles delivered to their home the following day and the installment can be arranged up to 3 years with interest and insurance. Each month installment is around $55. So basically motorcycle price is affordable. Even in one family can have 2 to 3 motorcycles. This is why the number of motorcyclist in Indonesia is quite a lot.

How do Indonesians ride their motorcycles? Sometimes solo and even 3 to 4 people can be on a motorcycle - this is actually against the law too. A policeman can give a ticket to these people. Even in dry season or in rainy season they motorcyclist cover almost all over their body. They wear face mask, gloves, and sometimes sunglasses with helmet. The hot weather makes Indonesians cover their body with jacket - sometimes a leather jacket. In rainy season too, a thick and thin jacket under a raincoat is used. Motorcycle has become a very common vehicle and many creative ideas has come from this 2 wheels machine ride.

These are cheap cute face masks which cost IDR 5000 ($1 is IDR 13,000)

Cute helmets for women

Super dangerous way of riding motorcycle, hey it fits for 5!

face mask check, gloves check 
women riding motorcycles

Hundreds and maybe thousands of motorcyclist queuing to pass the highway bridge which connects Surabaya and Madura

Automatic Teller Machine ATMA specially designed for motorcyclist

A lady selling motorcycle cover, no matter how long you leave your motorcycle it will be safe from dust and rain outdoor

A creative motorcycle seat for kids

Riding under heavy rain

picture credits:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Things I Like About Indonesia

Hi, I'm Silvana. I was amazed at Korea and its best things as described by my dear friend Jiyoung. She actually mentioned 7 things instead of 6 ha ha. And so I will also mention 6 things (plus one) that I like about my home country Indonesia :)

1. The Religious National Holidays

There are 6 official religions in  Indonesia Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Each of this religion has its celebration and festive and officially it becomes the national holiday. To me it is great. It shows how the government respect diversity in terms of religious rituals and activities although majority of the country is Muslim. The national holidays also promote unity among the citizens. We're diverse but we are one, we have our own religions but we celebrate is as one nation :)
Here's list of the religious national holidays. I do not post the date since it is changing every year because the Muslim used the Islamic calendar, Christian with its Gregorian calendar, Buddhist with its own calendar etc. The country used the Gregoriam Calendar, so in every new year what I do is check the religious holidays which date will be different with the previous year :P

Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
Ascencion of Prohet Muhammad
Eid-al-Fitr (The biggest festive. It is also the longest national holiday celebrate by the whole nation)
Feast of the Sacrifice
Islamic New Year (also Javanese New Year)
Birth of the Prophet

Chinese New Year

Day of Silence

Christianity and Catholicism
Good Friday
Ascension Day

Buddha's birthday

2. The People
People are friendly (in their own way). Even in big cities people tend to be selfish and cold but still you can find nice Indonesians every where. They will ask you many questions and its considered to be normal and it's a friendly way to say hi here in Indonesia. People might also look at you head to toe not because they feel insecure but they just want to know more about you, yes Indonesians tend to be the want-to-know type of people but hey that's how people become closer to you :) They will happily show you everything and tell you everything. It is also part of the courtesy :P As I said, Indonesian are friendly in their own way, so don't misunderstood.

Indonesian physically different in an area to another.Indonesia is the fourth largest country in population with more than 250 individuals. Its ethnic composition is characterized by a wide variety as the country contains hundreds of different ethnic groups and cultures. People in the west part of Indonesia usually shorter compare to those in the east part of Indonesia. I have tan skin and straight hair while some in the eastern part have curly hair and darker tan skin just like the Brazilian. Those inhabit Papua, the most eastern part of Indonesia look like the Aborigines. Some look like Chinese.

Top left: Indonesia President a Javanese; Top right A Papua singer - Papua is the most eastern island next to Papua New Guinea; Bottom right - a Manado man who looks like Chinese; Bottom left - An Ambonese singer

Indonesian are happy people! According to a research by Research Company Ipsos, on their early 2014 survey, Indonesia is on the first rank among other worldwide countries as the happiest country. Indonesia with 55% is way up above India on the second place 41%, Mexico 38%, Brazil 33%, South Africa United States 26%, and Canada 24%. Age, education, and social-economy are few factors among others that determined the survey.

Yes life is hard but Indonesian can still find their simple happiness in every way. In the past people believe that having more children means happier life. Surrounded by many children and relatives wouldn't give them headache, i think it will be totally the opposite in Korea, isn't it? Ha ha Even now many young couples have at least two children, and having 3 children is pretty common.

3. Nature's Beauty
Indonesia has a big and wide area. It is an archipelago with thousands islands. I live in East Java Province, part of Java island and nature scattered around the province where I live is just pretty. There are beautiful beaches, mountains and volcanoes, waterfalls, caves, underwater world, jungles, historical sites, temples, anything you name it we have it. I don't think I can even go to each of the natural beauties in my country from east to west. Here are some of the places I want to go, I've been to only one of them, Mount Bromo which is located in the province where I live.

Clockwise: Raja Ampat in Papua - Eastern Indonesia; Mount Bromo in East Java; Sibolangit Waterfall - 2 colors waterfall
in Sibolangit North Sumatera; Danau Keimutu - 3 colors lake Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT); Bunaken Sea Park - North Sulawesi; Wae Rebo -  Higland traditional village in Flores (NTT)

4. Great Warung
Warung is  street food small "restaurant". There are many great food sold at great street warung. Don't ask about hygiene but you can judge a clean and hygiene ones by looking at the warung staging and tables. Clean tables you can expect hygiene food :). Warung sells any kind of food and usually the food depends on where the seller comes from.

Warung can be easily found along the street, from a permanent building to the semi / non permanent one

A warung seller waiting for her regular customers

Variety of food, just point your finger and you can have the menu with your rice. Some warung only sells one or less than 5 menu  

Even the humble president enjoys eating food from warung :)

5. Tasty Food
I love Indonesian food. One of famous Indonesian food called Rendang is one of world's best food according too CNN Travel. This super yummy spicy (not hot) meet dish. Other Indonesian food is super yummy. We Indonesian use whatever scattered in the neighborhood and the skillful hands of our mothers changed the ingredients into nice food. From plants in the bushes into weird fruit and tubes plant under the ground can be eaten. Indonesian famous food and also my favorites are the following.

Clockwise: meat dish CNN bets food - Rendang; meatball; nasi goreng - fried rice; sate ayam - chicken in skewers; soto ayam- yellow chicken soup; gado-gado - typical Indonesian salad with peanut sauce.
6. Batik
Batik is a technique of wax-dying on a piece of fabric. It;s like painting with wax on a cloth and then dyeing it with colors then a beautiful Each area in Indonesia has its own pattern and the pattern of course symbolize something. Java is the most popular area where various type of batik pattern can be found. In October 2009, batik was designated as Masterpice of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Batik can be wear for formal or informal occasion. Wearing batik is like wearing a piece of art for me. More and more young people loves batik as the government also campaign about this batik loving movement. School students wear batik and few schools even ask their students to make their own batik and they wear it as their uniform. So the students wear different handmade batik clothes as their school uniforms.

Few batik patterns

A batik maker

Korean Hand Gestures (Sikap Tangan Orang Korea)

First of all, I’d like to tell you that Koreans rarely use gestures, compared to most Westerners. I have to admit that Koreans are sort of shy when it comes to gestures. We don't use gestures very often, but there are some noticeable ones we use. The most widely and frequently used gesture in Korea is to bow. 
Pertama-tama Anda perlu tahu bahwa orang Korea jarang menggunakan sikap tangan tertentu, dibanding dengan orang-orang Barat. Saya harus mengakui bahwa orang-orang Korea cukup pemalu jika menyangkut sikap tangan. Kami tidak terlalu sering menggunakan sikap tertentu, tetapi ada beberapa yang sering kami gunakan. Sikap yang paling mudah dikenali dan digunakan secara umum adalah membungkuk.  

Koreans bow to each other
Orang Korea membungkuk satu sama lain

Koreans bow to each other when they first meet. Let me take an example. If you visit my office, I would stand up and bow to you to greet you. But even if you’re my colleague working in the same office, I would still bow to you every morning and say ‘Anyeonghaseyo (Hi). But I don’t bow to colleagues when I leave the office, because I don’t want to let them know that I’m leaving earlier than them. :P
Orang Korea membungkuk satu sama lain ketika pertama kali mereka bertemu. Begini contohnya, jika Anda mengunjungi kantor saya maka saya akan berdiri dan membungkuk untuk menyapa Anda. Tetapi walaupun anda adalah rekan kerja saya yang bekerja di kantor yang sama, saya tetap akan membungkuk pada Anda setiap pagi dan berkata "Anyeonghaseyo" (Halo). Tetapi saya tidak membungkuk pada rekan kerja ketika saya meninggalkan tempat kerja karena saya tidak ingin mereka tahu saya pergi pulang sebelum mereka ha ha.

The bow is used among families as well. On holidays when families gather together, I bow to my grandmother, grandfather, uncles, aunts and other relatives older than me. And I also bow to them when they leave or when I leave.
Sikap membungkuk juga digunakan di antara keluarga. Di hari libur ketikaanggota keluarga berkumpul bersama, say amembungkuk pada nenek, kakek, paman, bibi, dan semua sanak saudara yang lebih tua daripada saya. Saya juga membungkuk pada mereka ketika mereka pergi atau ketika saya akan pulang. 

Another thing I’d like to share is the use of both hands. The basic rule is Koreans usually use both hands to show respect to the elderly.
Hal lain yang ingin saya bagi adalah penggunaan kedua tangan. Aturan dasarnya adalah orang Korea menggunakan kedua tangannya untuk menghormati mereka yang lebih tua. 

For instance, if I drink with my boss or someone older than me, I should use both hands to offer him/her a drink. It’s the same when he/she gives me a drink. I have to use both hands to take the glass. Also, I would turn my head slightly to the left or right when drinking the glass offered by older people
Contohnya ketika saya minum dengan atasan saya atau dengan seseorang yang lebih tua daripada saya. saya harus menggunakan kedua tangan saya untuk menawarkan dia (laki-laki atau perempuan) minum. Ini sama halnya ketika dia menuangkan saya minu. Saya harus menggunakan kedua tangan saya untuk menerima minumannya. Dan saya harus menoleh sedikit ke arah kiri atau kanan ketika minum dari gelas di depan orang yang lebih tua.

Offering and receiving a drink with both hands
Menawarkan dan menerima minuman dengan dua tangan

It’s a cultural thing that those in the other parts of the world would find strange. But in Korea, directly meeting the eyes of other people is often considered awkward or even rude sometimes, particularly if the other person is much older than you. So if I’m drinking in front of my boss, my father, or anybody older than me, I would turn my head and look the other way before and while drinking.
Ini adalah adat yang mungkin bagi orang lain cukup aneh. Tapi di Korea bertatap mata langsung dengan orang lain sering kali dianggap aneh atau bahkan kasar, khususnya jika Anda berhadapan dengan orang yang lebih tua dari Anda. Jadi jika saya sedang minum di depan atasan saya, ayah saya, atau siapa saja yang lebih tua daripada saya maka saya akan menoleh ke arah lain sebelum minum atau ketika minum.

Moreover, one is expected to use both hands when shaking hands with an older person or his/her boss. My new boss came last month, and he moved around the office on his first day to say hello to colleagues. When he reached out his right hand for handshaking, I lightly grabbed my right arm with my left hand, slightly above the wrist or near the elbow and then held his hand.
Terlebih ketika seseorang harus bersalaman dengan orang yang lebih tua atau dengan atasannya, baik itu laki-laki maupun perempuan. Atasan baru saya datang bulan lalu, dan dia berkeliling kantor di hari pertamanya untuk menyapa para kolega. Ketika dia mengulurkan tangan kanannya untuk bersalaman, saya  sedikit memegang  lengan kanan saya dengan tangan saya, sedikit di atas pergelangan tangan atau dekat dengan siku dan kemudian menjabat tangannya.

Shaking hands with slightly grabbing one's other arm
Bersalaman dengan sedikit memegang lengan tangan yang lain

That’s all I can think of gestures uniquely used in Korea. Other common gestures, like okay sign and shrug-off, are universally used in Korea as well. If anything comes to my mind, I’ll add it to the post. Thanks for reading! 
Saya rasa ini saja sikap unik yang digunakan di Korea. Sikap lainnya seperti meberi tanda OK dan sikap menggeleng digunakan secara umum di mana-mana begitu juga di Korea. Jika ada hal lain lagi berkaitan dengan sikap tubuh orang Korea maka anda saya tambahan di posting ini. Terima kasih sudah membaca!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Surabaya Streets

Surabaya is the capital of East Java Province. Being the second biggest city in Indonesia, as any other big cities in developing countries, the traffic is pretty rough though it's not as bad as the country's capital, Jakarta. The city's slogan is the green and clean city. It is also a sparkling city. You can find many nice green parks in the city and also trees. There are not too many tall building but yes many new hotels, apartments, and buildings are built in the last 5 years. And oh...I forgot to mention, the motorcycles are everywhere too :P. Some of these pictures are taken by me and the rest are taken from various sources, the photo credit is listed under each picture :)

수라바야는 동자바 주(East Java)의 수도입니다. 인도네시아 제 2의 도시로, 다른 개도국의 대도시들과 마찬가지로 교통이 좋지 않은 편이지만, 인도네시아의 수도인 자카르타만큼 나쁘지는 않습니다. 수라바야의 슬로건은 깨끗한 녹색 도시입니다. 그리고 빛나는 도시이기도 합니다. 도시 곳곳에서 많은 녹지 공원과 나무들을 볼 수 있습니다. 고층 건물들이 많지는 않지만 지난 5년 동안 많은 호텔, 아파트, 건물들이 새로이 지어졌습니다. 아, 그리고 깜빡했는데, 여기도 어디에나 오토바이가 있습니다. :P 아래 사진 중 일부는 제가 찍은 것이고, 나머지는 여러 곳에서 가져온 곳이며, 사진의 출처는 각 사진 아래에 적혀 있습니다. 

Surabaya with some tall buildings. Photo Credit:
몇몇 고층건물들이 있는 수라바야의 모습. 사진 출처:

The city's icon at a park for skaters. Photo Credit:
스케이터 공원에 있는 도시 상징물. 사진 출처:

Gate of the city's "China Town". There is a "becak" three wheels vehicle with a driver cycling on the back a passenger sitting in the front. The passenger seat can fit in for 2 people. Next to the becak is a marine riding his motorcycle, a common transportation in the city. Photo
시내 "차이나 타운" 입구. 승객이 앞에 앉고 운전자가 뒤에서 자전거를 타는 "베칵(becak)"이라는 삼륜차가 있습니다. 좌석에는 최대 2명까지 앉을 수 있습니다. 베칵 옆에는 수라바야의 흔한 교통수단인 오토바이를 탄 해군이 지나갑니다. 사진출처:

The city in the past was colonized by Dutch and Japanese. After the war some part of the town still remain the same.
This is a neighborhood along the famous river, Kalimas with its old houses and tower with Dutch architecture. I took the picture on my one day trip wandering the city along the riverbank. This place was a center of trading in the old times.
수라바야는 예전에 네덜란드와 일본의 식민 지배를 받았습니다. 
전쟁 후에도 도시 일부는 그대로 유지되었습니다. 
이 곳은 유명한 Kalimas강 주변의 마을로, 네덜란드 건축양식의 오래된 집과 탑이 남아 있습니다. 
이 사진은 제가강둑을 따라 하루 여행하던 길에 찍었습니다. 이 곳은 옛날에는 무역의 중심지였습니다. 

Another view of old Dutch architecture building in the city. The street is flooded by public transportation, becak, and other private cars and motorcycles.Photo credit:
옛날 네덜란드식 건축물. 이 거리는 대중교통, 베칵, 자동차 및 오토바이로 넘쳐난다. 

A shopping centre next to the used to be important river in the city. Photo taken by me.
도시의 주요 강 옆에 있는 쇼핑센터. 제가 찍은 사진입니다. 
View of the city park. Photo taken by me
시내 공원의 모습. 제가 찍은 사진입니다.

Art in the city park. Photo taken by me
시내 공원 안에 있는 작품. 제가 찍은 사진입니다.
View of the city traffic.
도시의 교통 상황

Hanging electricity cables on the street junction with motorcyclist waiting for the green sign. Photo credit:

The pavement in the city center with parking area for bicycles. In the suburban area the pavement is still poor :( However I think Surabaya pavement and pedestrian is much better than in other Indonesia cities, my personal judgment :P
Photo credit:

You can even sit and enjoy the traffic in Surabaya :) The Monument is called Bambu Runcing "The sharp Bamboes" as a symbol of simple weaponry used by the Surabayanese to fight the Dutch in the past.
Photo credit:

                   The buststop.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

6 things I like about Korea- part 2

3.     Cheap and easy-to-use public transportation
Transportasi umum yang murah dan mudah

I’m certain that Seoul has one of the best subway and bus systems in the world. Look at the picture below, the map of subway lines in Seoul, the bustling capital of Korea. It’s very colorful and complex, because we have as many as 9 subway lines running across the city. The extensive subway network allows you to go anywhere within Seoul and some part of suburban areas as well.
Saya sangat yakin bahwa Seoul adalah kota dengan sistem transportasi kereta bawah tanah terbaik di dunia. Lihatlah gambar di bawah ini, ini adalah peta jalur kereta bawah tanah di Seoul, ibu kota yang super sibuk. Petanya terlihat sangat berarna dan rumit, karena ada 9 jalur kereta bawah tanah yang melintas di seluruh kota. Jaringan padat ini juga memudahkan Anda untuk pergi ke mana saja di dalam wilayah Seoul dan juga ke beberapa wilayah pinggiran lainnya.

I usually take the line number 1 (the dark blue line) to work, from my home to the downtown office strict of the city. It takes about an hour to get to work, and this costs me about two dollars a day. I work on 3-days-a-week basis, so I usually spend approximately 50 to 60 dollars of subway fares a month. The basic subway fare is KRW 1100, which is equivalent to USD 1. The longer you travel, the higher the fare goes up. But it won’t go higher than 2 dollars if you move around within Seoul.
Saya biasanya mengambil kereta jalur 1 (garis warna biru tua) untuk menuju tempat kerja, dari rumah saya ke kantor yang letaknya tepat di pusat kota. Waktu tempuhnya sekitar 1 jam ke tempat kerja dan tairfnya sekitar 2 dolar sehari, Saya bekerja biasanya 3 hari dalam seminggu, jadi saya menghabiskan kurang lebih $50 - $60 sebulan untuk tarif kereta. Tarif dasar kereta bawah tanah adalah 1100 Won Korea atau setara dengan $1. Semakin jauh Anda bepergian maka semakin tinggi pula tarifnya. Tapi tarifnya tidak akan melebihi 2 dolar juga Anda hanya bepergian di wilayah Seoul.

The thick, sky blue line in the map is Han River, a big river that crosses the city.
Garis tebal warna biru langit di peta adalah Sungai Han, sungai besar yang membelah kota.

These are the pictures of Han River I took on a subway train.
Ini adalah gambar dari Sungai Han yang saya ambil dari dalam kereta yang saya tumpangi.
Han River on a sunny day
Sungai Han di hari yang cerah

The building with round roof of Korean's National Assembly building
Gedung dengan atap bundar di atas adalah Gedung Majelis Korea

Just seeing this big blue river tranquilizes my mind.
Hanya melihat sungai biru yang besar ini sudah mampu menenangkan pikiran saya.

Picture taken inside the Sindorim Station, one of the busiest subway stations in Seoul
Gambar yang diambil dari dalam Staisun Sindorim, salah satu stasiun bawah tanah tersibuk di Seoul

Snack stores in the station selling kimbap, udong, and toast, etc.
Toko jajanan di dalam stasiun yang menjual kimbap, udong, roti bakar, dll
But I prefer bus to subway, because I can see the city streets passing by outside of the bus window. If it’s not winter, I usually open the window slightly to enjoy the breeze. You can see three types of buses in Seoul, a relatively small green bus, regular-sized green bus, blue bus, and red one. Click here if you want to know more about the Seoul bus system.
Tapi saya lebih memilih bus daripada kereta bawah tanah, karena saya bisa melihat kesibukan jalanan kota dari jendela bus. Ketika bukan musim dingin, saya membuka sedikit jendela bus untuk merasakan angin sepoi-sepoi. Anda bisa melihat ada 3 bus di Seoul; yang pertama bus hijau yang ukurannya kecil, kemudian bus hijau berukuran normal, bus warna biru dan bus warna merah. Klik link di atas jika Anda ingin tahu lebih banyak tentang sistem bus Seoul. 

When you transfer from bus to subway or vice versa, or from bus to bus or between subway lines, discount is applied. But the discount is available only when you transfer within 30 minutes and pay with T-money card (transportation card) or credit card.
Ketika Anda perlu oper dari bus ke kereta bawah tanah atau lainnya, atau dari satu bus ke bus lain, atau antara kereta bawah tanah satu ke lainnya maka ada diskon yang diberlakukan. Tetapi diskon ini hanya berlaku dalam jangka waktu 30 menit saja dan jika Anda membayar dengan kartu T-money (kartu transportasi) atau dengan kartu kredit.

So if you use public transpiration, it will cost you less than 10 dollars a day no matter how far and long you move around the city. Most of Koreans use credit cards with transportation payment feature. Minors who are not eligible for credit card use T-money card or debit card. I use cash for bus or subway only when I forget to bring my credit card. If you come to Seoul, the first thing you have to do is buying T-money card and getting a subway map. If you have difficulties in using the subway, ask people or go to the Station Office. Koreans would be willing to help you.
Jadi jika Anda menggunakan transpirtasi, paling banyak dalam sehari Anda hanya akan menghabiskan kurang dari 10 dolar sejauh apapun perjalanan Anda selama Anda masih di dalam wilayah kota Seoul. Kebanyakan orang Korea membayar dengan kartu kredit yang dilengkapi dengan fitur pembayaran transportasi umum. Anak-anak di bawah umur yang belum punya kartu kredit menggunakan kartu T-money atau kartu debit. Saya menggunakan uang tunai untuk membayar bus atau kereta bawah tanah hanya jika saya lupa membawa kartu kredit. Jika Anda datang berkunjung ke Seoul hal pertama yang harus Anda lakukan adalah membeli kartu T-money dan mencari peta kereta bawah tanah. JIka Anda mengalami kesulitan untuk menggunakan kereta bawah tanah maka Anda bisa bertanya pada orang-orang di sekitar Anda atau pergilah ke kantor stasiun. Orang-orang akan dengan senang hati membantu Anda.

4.     Safe tap water
Air kran yang aman

When traveling to other countries, I am often warned to drink only bottled water. But in Korea, the tap water is very safe and clean and you can even drink it without any stomach problem, even though most Koreans still prefer to drink processed or bottled water.
Ketika bepergian ke negara lain, saya sering kali diingatkan untuk minum hanya dari air munum kemasan. Tapi di Korea, air kran sangat aman dan bersih jadi Anda bisa minum langsung tanpa masalah perut sesudahnya, walaupun begitu kebanyak orang Korea lebih memilih minum dari air minum kemasan.

But even if you don’t drink water directly from the tap, the Korean tap water is still great. I don’t know how to explain it, but you will feel the difference of water quality if you shampoo your hair or take a shower every day in Korea. The water feels much smoother. When I stayed in LA and Vegas for couple of weeks, I felt my hair and skin got rough. It was the same when I stayed in Jakarta for a week. So I guess, from my personal experience, the tap water in Korea is not only safe and clean but also good for your skin. Isn’t it interesting?
Tetapi, walaupun Anda tidak bisa minum langsung air dari kran, air kran Korea tetap enak. Saya tidak tahu bagaimana menjelaskannya, tetapi Anda bisa merasakan perbedaan kualitas airnya jika Anda sedang keramas atau jika Anda mandi setiap hari di Korea, Airnya terasa lebih lembut. Ketika saya dulu tinggal di  LA dan Vegas selama 2 minggu, saya bisa merasakan rambut dan kulit saya terasa kasar. Hal ini sama seperti yang saya rasakan ketika saya di Jakarta selama seminggu. Jadi saya rasa dari pengalamanpribadi, air kran di Korea bukan hanya aman dan bersih tetapi juga bagus untuk kulit Anda. Bukankah hal ini sangat menyenangkan?

5.     Clean and free public restrooms
Toilet umum yang bersih dan gratis

If you are walking on a street of Seoul, or any city in Korea, it won’t be a problem to find a clean and pleasant public toilet that you can use free of charge. As soon as you arrive at the Incheon International Airport, which was named the best airport in the world for many times, you can see a lot of public restrooms fully equipped with auto flush, hand dryer, diaper changing seat, and stalls for the disabled.
Jika Anda sedang berjalan-jalan di jalanan Seoul atau kota lian di Korea, bukanlah suatu masalah untuk mencari toilet umum yang bersih dan nyaman dan tentunya gratis. Tepat ketika Anda sampai di Bandara Internasional Incheon, yang mendapat predikat sebagai bandara terbaik di dunia beberapa kali, Anda bisa melihat banyak sekali toilet umum yang dilengkapi dengan auto flush alias pengguyur otomatis, pengering tangan, kursi pengganti popok, dan toilet dengan tempat duduk khusus untuk orang cacat.

Also, all subway stations have at least one public restroom, and in some large stations, there are often as many as 3 public restrooms in the station. Most office buildings open their lobby floor to the public, so one can use restroom of the buildings as well. I think Korea is among the top countries with clean public bathrooms.
Sebagai tambahan, semua stasiun bawah tanah punya setidaknya satu toilet umum dan di stasiun besar ada setidaknya 3 toilet umum. Sebagian besar gedung perkantoran punya lobi yang terbuka untuk umum sehingga orang-orang bisa menggunakan toilet di gedung tersebut. Saya rasa Korea adalah salah satu dari negara-negara dengan toilet umum terbersih di dunia.

6.     Great nightlife
Kehidupan malam yang luar biasa

Seoul is a city that never sleeps and you can easily find bars and clubs opening until early morning and 24-hour open convenience stores. So you will have no problem having a late dinner with friends, going clubbing, or buy OTC drugs any time of the day.
Seoul adalah kota yang tidak pernah tidur dan Anda bisa dnegan mudah menemukan bar dan klub yang buka sampai dini hari dan juga toko serba ada yang buka 24 jam. Jadi Anda bisa dengan mudah makan larut malam dengan teman-teman, pergi ke klub, atau membeli obat-obatan tanpa resep kapanpun sepanjang hari.

Places like Itaewon, Hongdae, and Gangnam are famous for rich nightlife. Especially, clubs in Hongdae are more reasonably priced while some bars and clubs in Itaewon and Gangnam are quite pricey. There are many foreigners in Itaewon and Hongdae, and you will find yourself easily mingle with the crowd.
Tempat-tempat seperti Itaewon, Hongdae, dan Gangnam sangat terkenal dengan kehidupan malam yang galor. Klub-klub di Hongdae harganya jauh lebih terjangkau dibanding dengan klub-klub di Itaewon dan Gangnam yang cukup mahal. Anda bisa menemui banyak sekali orang asing di Itaewon dan Hongdae sehingga Anda bisa mudah sekali berbaur dengan mereka.

Clubbers in seoul
Clubber di Seoul

(Check here for Gangnam nightlife, and here for nightlife in Seoul)
Cek di sini untuk ekhidupan malam di Gangnam dan di sini untuk kehidupan malam di Seoul

Uhoh, you’re not a party person? Do you want just kick back and relax, watching your favorite TV shows? No problem. Fried chickens and fresh beer are delivered to any Korean home until late at night, mostly 11PM and even by 2AM. It’s called ‘Chimac’ in Korean, a shorted word combining ‘chicken’ and ‘beer’ (mac-joo in Korean language). They are great midnight snack you can enjoy yourself or with friends.
O..o...Anda bukan penggila pesta? Jadi Anda hanya ingin bersantai di rumah dan nonton acara TV favorit? Bukan masalah! Ayam goreng dan bir segar siap dikirim ke rumah-rumah di seluruh Seoul sampai larut malam, biasanya sampai jam 11 malam bahkan ada yang siap kirim sampai jam 2 pagi. Ini disebut "Chimac" dalam bahasa Korea yang merupakan singkatan dari kata "chicken" (ayam) dan bir (mac-joo dalam bahasa Korea). Ayam goreng dan bir adalah jajanan tengah malam yang bisa Anda nikmati sendiri atau bersama teman-teman tersayang.

Fried chicken is always right!
Ayam goreng slelau pas di segala kesempatan

Leaflet of chicken delivery service
Brosur layanan pesan antar ayam goreng

Monday, March 16, 2015

6 things I like about Korea- part 1

Hi, I'm Jiyoung. It's still cold in the morning and night, but I can feel spring is just around the corner. Today, I'd like to write about things I like about Korea...which make my life a lot more convenient. 
Hai, saya Jiyoung. Masih tetap dingin di pagi dan malam hari di sini, tapi saya bisa merasakan musim semi sudah semakin dekat. Saya ingin menuliskan beberapa hal yang saya suka tentang Korea...yang membuat hidup saya semakin nyaman.

1.     Fast internet access available almost everywhere
Akses internet cepat hampir di semua tempat

Today morning, I saw a news article that Korea’s internet speed is about 5.6 times faster than the international average. That’s true! Whenever I travel in other countries, I always moan about the slow internet speed as I am spoiled with the fast and convenient internet experience in my home country. In Korea, it usually takes less than a second to open a webpage. Downloading is fast and you can even use free wifi in subway trains. But the free subway wifi is sometimes slow and the connection might be unstable. Yet it’s a great advantage that you can use free internet on the go while you are going to work or home. Also, most of coffee shops offer free wifi access as well. So it is no exaggeration that Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world.
Pagi ini saya membaca sebuah artikel yang menyatakan bahwa kecepatan internet di Kore 5.6 kali lebig cepat daripada rata-rata kecepatan interney internasional. Itu betul! Ketika saya bepergian di negara-negara lain, saya selalu mengeluh tetang lambatnya akses internet karena saya sudah terbiasa dimanjakan dengan cepatnya akses internet di kampung halaman. Di Korea untuk membuka sebuah situs diperlukan waktu kurang dari 1 detik. Mengunduh sangatlah cepat dan Anda bisa menggunakan wifi gratos di kereta subway (bawah tanah). Tapi wifi gratis subway biasanya lambat dan koneksinya kadang tidak stabil. Tapi tetap saja ini adalah sebuah keuntungan karena kases internet gratis bisa didapat ketika Anda dalam perjalanan menuju ke tempat kerja atau ke rumah. Selain itu kedai kopi juga slealu dilengkapi dengan wifi gratis. Jadi tidaklah berlebihan jika Korea disebut sebagai salah satu negara dengan banyak koneksi kabel di dunia.

Free wifi in the subway train
wifi gratis di kereta bawah tanah

People using smartphones in the subway (image from
Orang-orang menggunakan telepon pintar di kereta bawah tanah

2.     Convenient online shopping and 1-day delivery service
Belanja online yang nyaman dan pengiriman 1 hari

As fast and easy internet access is available everywhere, online shopping is very common in Korea. Especially, I often buy clothes online because they are far more expensive at the department stores. Of course the design, quality of the fabric, and details are different. But given the fast-changing fashion world, it might be a good idea to buy clothes online instead of investing half of your monthly wage into a coat or jacket.
Semudah dan secepat akses internet yang tersedia di mana-mana, berbelanja secara online juga hal yang sangat lumrah di Korea. Saya khususnya sangat suka membeli baju secara online karena harganya jauh lebih murah daripada yang dijual di department store. Tentu saja desain, kualitas kain, dan detilnya berbeda. Tetapi dengan perubahan mode di dunia fashion, menurut saya membeli baju online jauh lebih baik daripada menghamburkan separo gaji untuk sebuah mantel atau jaket.

On top of clothes, you can order anything online in Korea-bottled water, fruits, electronic devices, large home appliances like fridge, toys, furniture, books….just name it! You can find everything on the internet. The largest shopping malls in Korea include 11st, Auction, and Gmarket. Auction and Gmarket were acquired by ebay. Interestingly, 11st is run by a telecom carrier. I always use big shopping malls because sometimes it is not easy or take longer to get a refund or get what you ordered at small online stores.
Selain pakaian, Anda bisa memesan apa saja secara online di Korea, mulai dari minuman botol, buah-buahan, peralatan elektronik, perlengkapan rumah tangga ukuran besar seperti kulkas, mainan, furnitur, buku, apa saja tinggal sebutkan. Semua bisa Anda temukan di internet. Mall terbesar di Korea adalag 11st, Auction, dan Gmarket. Auction dan Gmarket diakusisi oleh ebay. Menariknya, 11st dijalankan oleh provider telekomunikasi. Saya selalu menggunakan shopping mall online besar karena terkadang di toko-toko online kecil membutuhkan waktu pengiriman yang lebih lama dan terkadang jaminan uang kembalinya memakan waktu yang lumayan lama. 

Also, most of the online shopping mall orders are delivered to you in less than 3 days and many offers overnight delivery. If you order a book today, you can get it tomorrow. Or, you can pick it up at a nearby convenience store you choose on that day or the following day. Isn't it amazing?
Oh ya, kebanyakan shopping mall bisa mengirimkan barang langsung ke rumah Anda dalam waktu kurang dari 3 hari dan banyak juga pengiriman dalam semalam. Jika Anda memesan buku hari ini maka besok buku sudah sampai. Atau Anda bisa mengambil pesanan langsung ke toko serba ada yang Anda pilih pada hari itu juga atau keesokan harinya. Luar biasa bukan?

Courier service available at convenience store
Jasa kurir yang tersedia di toko serba ada

3.     Ubiquitous plastic payment
Pembayaran dengan kartu plastik di manapun Anda berada

Payments are quite plastic in Korea. Credit card is accepted everywhere and you can buy even $2- candy with your credit card without being frowned. A research in 2014 showed that more than 5 out of 10 Koreans used their credit cards when purchasing goods. Moreover, most credit card companies offer SMS service that informs the users of their use of credit card every time a payment is made.
Pembayaran umumnya dilakukan dengan kartu (plastik) di Korea. Kartu kredit bisa diterima di mana saja dan Anda bahkan bisa membeli permen hanya seharga $2 dengan kartu kredit Anda tanpa biaya tambahan. Sebiah riset yang dilakukan tahun 2014 menunjukkan bahwa lebih dari 5 orang dari total 10 orang menggunakan kartu kredit mereka ketika membeli barang. Lebih lanjut, perusahaan kartu kredit juga menyediakan layanan SMS ylangsung ke telepon nasabah yang menginformasikan nasabah ketika pembayaran diakukan.

You can pay your cell phone bill, utilities fees, national pension and health insurance fees with credit card. The government is considering permitting use of credit card for payment of fines. But if you go to traditional, open-air markets like Namdamun Market, stores are more likely to refuse credit card. Also, street peddlers don’t take credit card. Some stores may charge higher when customers want to pay with credit card, saying it’s because of the commission they have to pay to the credit card companies.
Dengan kartu kredit semua bisa dibayarkan, tagihan telepon, tagihan bulanan. iuran pensiun, asuransi kesehatan, dan lainnya. Pemerintah sedang mempertimbangkan penggunaan kartu kredit untuk pembayaran denda. Tetapi jika Anda pergi ke pasar tradisional - yang tidak beratap seperti di Pasar Namdamun, maka toko-toko di sana kebanyakan menolak kartu kredit. Pedagang keliling juga tidak menerima kartu kredit. Ada pula beberapa toko penerima kartu kredit yang mengenakan biaya tambahan ketika pembeli ingin membayar dengan kartu kredit dengan alasan penjual ini membutuhkan biaya tambahan yang dibayarkan pada perusahaan kartu kredit.

But overall, credit card is very widely used and accepted in Korea. So don’t worry about using your credit card in the country. :)
Secara keseluruhan, kartu kredit sangat umum digunakan dan diterima di Korea. Jadi jangan khawatir jika Anda ingin menggunakan kartu kredit di negara saya.

The post became kind of lengthy, so I separated this post into two. The rest 3 things 
will be covered in the following post. You can look forward to my next post!
Postingan ini jadi cukup panjang, jadi saya akan memisahkan posting sata menjadi 2. 3 hal lainnya yang saya suka tentang Korea akan saya ulas dalam posting selanjutnya. Cek postingan saya selanjutnya ya?