Spring Break 2014

Hej allihopa!

It’s been one and a half months since my last post. I swear, I always tell myself I should blog more, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic though (<— this is me trying to assure myself that there is nothing I could’ve done about it). There were about two weeks where literally, I always had something I had to do every waking second. For one, we had to make a sort of Google Maps thingamajig. Luckily, it was a partner project, and we could (and were supposed to) use materials from previous projects, but still, it was tough. The hardest part was probably thinking of a suitable design, and I think that’s probably the focus of this entire class—to teach you that design, above all else, is very, very important. My professor, JJ, always stresses that, if you have a really good design, then technically speaking, you can give your design to a crappy programmer, and he or she should be able to finish it. But if you have a rather shitty design, and you give it to a crappy programmer, then there is no way he or she would be able to finish it.

But anyways, last week was spring break, and I went down to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia with a bunch of friends. Everything was planned pretty last minute, because as I said before, the few weeks preceding spring break was super hectic. It was just crazy, and literally the only thing that kept me going was the thought of vacation-ing with friends. That is how crazy it was.

So because we planned everything so last minute, we didn’t really get good flight and train tickets. We were planning on going down to D.C. first, and then up to Philly and back to Providence, and we wanted to do all the traveling by train, because it’s relatively cheap, and definitely cheaper compared to flying.  Butttt since we’re such lazy asses, all the train tickets for PVD-WAS were super duper expensive. All the economy class tickets were sold out, and the tickets left were like $150 or more, which is crazy expensive compared to the usual economy tickets. So we looked for flights, and found one for $100. Who knew flying would be cheaper, huh? The flight timing wasn’t really the best though; our flight left at 6.15AM, which meant that we had to leave Brown by 4.15AM. With such an early flight, one thing popped into my head: to sleep or not to sleep, that is the question. It’s so early that I’m scared I will miss it if I go to bed. Also, I’m not the type of person who can wake up fifteen minutes before class. I literally have to wake up at least an hour before class to get ready and stuff, if not, I panic. So if I’m leaving at 4.15AM, I’d have to wake up at 3.15AM. I usually sleep around midnight to 1AM, so that leaves me with 2 hours of sleep, which isn’t really much. Add that to the fact that I just got home from hanging out with friends at 12AM, and the fact that I hadn’t even packed yet…..I ended up not sleeping. Probably not the best idea, because I got really sleepy really early, but whatever. YOLO, right? Ha ha. Ok, that wasn’t funny.

The days in D.C. were spent around the Smithsonian and basically the National Mall area. We went to see the Air and Space museum, U.S.Capitol Building, Natural History Museum, American History Museum, Arts Museum, Einstein Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and also the Lincoln Memorial. Visiting all these American places made me think of Indonesia a lot. Going to all these places cost me no money at all, while in Indonesia, I don’t even think we have museums as good as this. I think these kind of museums would be really, really cool, because hey, Indonesia has a lot of history. Think about all those kingdoms—Sriwijaya, Maja Pahit, Samudera Pasai—and also the colonization era. We also have a lot of really, really naturally wonderful places, and the world deserves to know this. Museums are also a good way to teach kids about the country, because face it. Learning American history at the museum is way more fun than learning American history in class.

From left to right: Lorraine, Tiffany, Tabish, Jonathan, Shiying, Bianca, Me, Nomin, Victor
From left to right: Lorraine, Tiffany, Tabish, Jonathan, Shiying, Bianca, Me, Nomin, Victor (Photo by Lorraine Salim)
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial (Photo by Anandan Amirthanayagam)

We also had pretty good food in D.C. I got to try some Afghan food at the Afghan Grill. It was pretty similar to Indian food actually (no shit, Sherlock). We also had some Indian food at Rasoi, which brings me to my next point. The plan was to spend three nights in D.C. and two in Philly, so on the fourth day, we had a train scheduled for Philly at 1pm. And we missed it. Yeap. We missed it by a minute or two. Yeappp. Disappointing much? Basically, some of us went to the Library of Congress and only got back around 12.15ish, which didn’t really leave much room for other stuff. Thank goodness we were able to reschedule our train!

Afghan Grill
Afghan Grill (Photo by Lorraine Salim)

We ended up taking the 2pm train, and we arrived in Philadelphia at around 4pm. We basically just rested in our hotel until dinner time came, at which we decided to eat at an Indonesian restaurant called Warung Hardena. It was delicious. If you ever make a stop in Philadelphia, and don’t know where to eat, I will definitely recommend Hardena. The only not-so-good part about it is that it’s really small (it’s a warung anyways), and it’s located in a kinda sketchy/shady area. But the food makes up for it, and it’s pretty cheap too. I was a happy girl.

Yummy Indonesian Food!
Yummy Indonesian Food!

The next day was spent visiting Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, and the Museum of Art. During the evening, we also ate at this Middle Eastern restaurant called Sahara Grill, which was superb. We then went back to the hotel and decided to watch National Treasurer together, which was also a ton of fun…except for the fact that I kinda fell asleep during the movie. Not that the movie was bad, but I was just really tired. The next morning, we left the hotel early (4.15AM cab, again) because our train was at 5.15AM. Same as previous, we booked really late, so we ended up getting the 5.15AM train, which was the cheapest one. The one positive thing from having an early train was that we arrived really early in Providence, 10AM. One some extremely lazy days I wouldn’t even be awake at 10 in the morning, haha. Getting back to Providence so early allowed me to have a day to just chill, which was really, really nice.

Independence Hall
Independence Hall (Photo by Lorraine)
Liberty Bell (Photo by Lorraine)
Liberty Bell (Photo by Lorraine)

Overall, it was a great trip. I came back wanting to visit more and more of America, and I kind of even started to plan my next breaks HAHA. I like to think that I was born to travel, because I have this birth mark (don’t know whether it’s actually called a birthmark, but in Indonesian we call it a ‘tahi lalat’, which literally means ‘fly’s feces a.k.a. poop a.k.a. shit’) on the palm of my left foot, and according to Indonesian beliefs, it means that I’m gonna travel a lot when I’m older. I don’t usually believe in such myths, but if it supports my will, then why not! But yeah, I really do love traveling, and would love to do a round-the-world trip sometime in my mid twenties. That would be a dream come true.

Anyways, vi hörs!

Indira

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