Monday, 8 July 2013

7 Quick Takes #3: JULY

Hi, everyone! I know I've been M.I.A. for a while in the blogging sphere, so I apologise for that. Although, I'm not sure if anybody even noticed or cared...? :p

Things have been pretty hectic yet unbelievably blessed!!! Everything that happened from mid-June to early July was all a colourful blur of random events; it's like rain that suddenly pours hard and then suddenly stops again as if it has never started. You wonder if that was really rain or if you just misheard its rumbling sound.

Here they are, in no particular order, my first 7 Quick Takes on the month of July:


I'm officially a medical doctor.

Left to right: Oki, Yi Yin, me, and Rivaldi, in our brightly coloured graduation robes.
Light green for medicine, yaayyy!

Me and my my friend Anggi, with Anggi's mum in the middle.
I love wearing traditional kebaya and sarong, and I love seeing women in kebaya and sarong!

On the 5th of July, 2013, I and 65 classmates took the Hippocratic Oath. This Oath is a major milestone in the life of any medical students: it is an official transition from being a medical student to being a licensed doctor. Though in our case, our license is only temporary for internship. We'll get another full-fledged license later after internship (and possible comm service, when the eternally-indecisive government makes up their mind for it).


GREECE IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I was blessed to be able visit this ancient land in late June. Greece has always been one of my dream destinations, thanks to the many mythology books I read as a little kid (yes, I was already a geek even then).

I went with my parents. We actually went on a week-long medical convention in Athens, but we only spent 2 days in Athens because, as usual, travel is more important than the convention, hehe. Another plus side of this kind of travel is, well, it's free! We only need to think about our own personal expenses.

So we went to Meteora, Delphi, Athens, and three of the islands: Poros, Hydra, and Aegina. My favourite places are Delphi and Hydra. Delphi has a general atmosphere of the typical European small town, with most "streets" (actually, footpaths) made of stones, tiny houses built right next to each other without much open space, and people, old people especially, sitting around on tiny flowery chairs sipping coffee, enjoying pipes, or simply having late afternoon chats. Time trickles slowly here and all worries will be irrelevant. I felt so peaceful being there. And not to forget, the great Temple of Apollo!

Delphi around 7pm, as seen from a restaurant on a higher ground.

The rocky hills of Delphi, around the site of the Temple of Apollo.

Me at the great theatre of Apollo.

Hydra is one of the Sarconic Islands of Greece, located in the sapphire-blue Aegean Sea. Most, if not all, the buildings on the island are painted white, and the main mode of transportation there is... dum dum dum... DONKEYS!!! Donkeys carried our Lord, right?? Therefore donkeys can carry anything! From children, adults, to your luggages. Seriously though, donkeys are effective because the buildings on Hydra are constructed diagonally upwards following the slopes of its many hills, so people need a mode of transport that can move on staircases and along narrow corridors of footpaths.

I'll let you take a look at a few pictures and judge by yourselves :)

Just look at the crystal clear water! The boats look like they're hovering!
"And God created the island of Hydra, and saw that it was awesome."
Hai boys!
I believe the best time to visit Greece is in the summer, around June-July. When I was there, the sky was always clear, and yes, it was hot, but still tolerable. Compared to the tropics like Indonesia, Mediterranean heat is more dry than humid, and more warm than prickly to the skin. The guide book I took from a hotel says that the hottest month is August, so you might wanna avoid this land in August.


My left brain needs to go to the gym!! So I [finally] decided to acquire another foreign language: Dutch! I'm determined to learn this language seriously until I reach fluency nearing or at the same level as my English; a fluency where I can think in that language, and comfortably switch between that and other languages I've mastered.

Why Dutch, you ask? Three main reasons:

1. It's a natural thing to do for Indonesians. Indonesia is a former Dutch colony for 350 years. Many Indonesian words are loan words from the Dutch language, and the two countries have always had very close cultural and diplomatic relationships. There are many Dutch people living in Indonesia, and there are many Indonesians living in the Netherlands. Even in Javanese language, all Caucasians are called "londo", which means Dutch, wherever they may come from.

2. It opens the door to at least 2 other languages: German and Afrikaans. There are also Flemish (Belgian Dutch) and Surinam Dutch, although I'm still not sure whether they are Dutch, or daughter languages of Dutch, as in the case of Afrikaans.

3. It makes me able to read museum inscriptions :p The point is, I like being able to read or at least pronounce something correctly, and Dutch will help me learn history much better.

Another general reason that I always give to people who ask why I bother to learn another foreign language when I'm already fluent in The One International Language, is this: I love learning new languages. In fact, I love anything related to language and words. I happen to be especially blessed in the linguistic area; for me, learning a new glot is a lot easier than, say, mathematics, or even natural science, which is funny because I chose medicine as my main career path. But see, you can't avoid love, so :)


Some of you might be sick already with this, but I can't help getting *somewhat* addicted. Here's for your troll-dancing pleasures.


The salary for internship has been raised to IDR 2.5m per month, from previously IDR 1.2m per 3 months. This is a significant positive change that we've all been waiting for. I don't want to sound materialistic, but the previous number, IDR 1.2m per 3 months, is roughly IDR 5,000 (approx. USD 0.50) per hour. I'm sure the parking lot guy earns a lot more than this. Plus, the national minimum wage for labourers is IDR 2.2m per month. Considering the huge responsibility and equally huge health risks posed to medical professionals, I think this improvement is well-warranted.


English is hard ;)


"We come from others, we belong to others, and our lives are enlarged by our encounter with others."

"One who loves realizes that love is an experience of truth, that it opens our eyes to see reality in a new way, in union of the beloved."

"Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing."

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