Can’t believe that it’s November already! November reminds me of exam weeks that we used to have at UQ. The month of farewells, where all my graduating friends were leaving for good. The month when I used to welcome summer season with not-so-wide arms. The month when I used to be so impatient to start my long 3 months break away from Australia. The month of family reunion. And finally, the Hajj! My dad starts to get crazily busy. No more family gathering. No more “can you please pick us up from XYZ Mall, Dad?” He’s practically unreachable. So too my mom. Oh, I’m starting to miss home…
Winter is approaching really soon here in Eindhoven. I remember it was -2 degrees Celcius weeks ago (and I seriously thought it’s going to snow), but now it’s getting warmer and warmer again. I don’t know if there will ever be snow this year; people told me that it snowed only for 2 days last year. Not so fun, eh?
I began to start to enjoy living alone. I can’t say I like it (and I will never like it!), but at the moment all I can do is to cherish it. I decorated my room so that it feels cosier, treat myself with something enjoyable (like reading books accompanied by classical music, tiramisu and hot chocolate… 😉 can’t ask for more!!), invite my friends over for a coffee or dinner. I miss those times in Brisbane when my friends and I used to gather at my house and we played Big Two and Poker until 2 am or 3 am! We had so much fun! I kinda want to do that again, but probably less often since university life keeps me so busy this semester!!
Been trying to save money for the past few weeks, but it’s freakin’ hard. I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days. I used to be able to save quite a bit of (my parent’s) money back in Australia, but now it seems almost impossible. God knows how much I spend money for foods alone. I barely eat out; almost close to never. I barely buy microwaved foods — or anything that can be put in the microwave and be eaten instantly (Thanks to my housemates, I become more aware of living healthy now hehehe). I always cook and begin to love experimenting with new recipes every now and then. And I still feel like I spend so much money for foods. And what makes me feel like an insane person is that… sometimes I skip meals so that I can buy more chocolates LOL (I’m serious!). I don’t know if I’m stressed out or something, but I believe that I eat more chocolates now than before! I can finish a big jar of Nutella in one week, yet my strawberry jam stays the same since I first bought it 3 months ago. Is this normal? hahaha. Should I be worried?? But it makes me crazy. This whole thing about me not being able to save makes me feel so irresponsible. Maybe because this is not my parents’ money so I feel like I can spend it for anything I want. I don’t want to blame TU/e for not giving me more funds (hahahaha); I’m grateful enough to be here, seriously. I guess this is how I enjoy life; by pampering myself with good foods ;).
Anyway, I checked the flight costs to Jeddah today, it’s SOOO freakin’ expensive! I know what you’re thinking — I just arrived here and I’m already checking out flights to go back home??? 😀 Well… I regret that I checked it hahaha. The flight costs around 1,000 Euros return! And those fares were set for this November, still regarded as low season. I can’t imagine how much they will be in July next year! Oh, I wish I don’t need to go back!!! 🙁 But I have to! Besides the annoying Saudi government rules that require me to be in Jeddah once a year, there will be an important ceremony that I need to attend. My cousin is going to marry next year, so my whole family is going to fly back to Jakarta!! Yes, my whole family; even my sister in KL will be reunited in Jakarta in the mid of next year. I’m excited! This is the first wedding ceremony for the young generation of my family (although two of my cousins have already married, none of them has a wedding party in Indonesia, so none of us was able to attend). I have not gone back to Jakarta since June 2006. I was almost gonna go back there after my graduation, but then… I didn’t get my parents’ approval. Mom always acts paranoid if I tell her I wanna go to Jakarta :P. But this time my mom personally asked me to go back to Jakarta. Since my mom gave me a green sign, I’m definitely going to be there, insya Allah!!!!
But the problem is that the flight cost from the Netherlands to Jeddah is so expensive (actually, I have a crazy idea to travel from here all the way to Jeddah by bus. Isn’t it exciting??? But my parents wouldn’t allow me for sure 🙁 And it’d be troublesome to apply visas to countries like Turkey and Syria). Anyway, I did some research; I checked all budget airlines in Europe and thankfully some of them offered flights to the Middle East, i.e. Egypt, Morocco, and UAE. Morocco was my first pick since Ryanair had a service to Marrakesh from Brussels for a reasonable price. But the problem was that none of the budget airlines in the Middle East had services to/from Marrakesh; not even to/from Morocco! So flying to Morocco seemed impossible. Egypt was my second choice. I could fly with ArkeFly from Amsterdam to Luxor or Sharm el Sheikh for less than 500 Euros. From Egypt, I could fly with Sama Airlines for less than 200 Euros! I would save around 300 Euros for my flight to Jeddah!!! But the problem is that I need a visa to Egypt :(. That means I’ll need to go to Den Hague to apply for tourist/transit visa back and forth, that costs around more than 50 Euros (including visa fees). Sigh. Every cent’s worth a lot to me :(. I also discovered that flying from Frankfurt (am Main) to Jeddah with Saudi Arabian Airlines is not too expensive (around 600 Euros); perhaps I can take a bus from Eindhoven to Frankfurt which costs around 60 Euros. Not bad I guess… I don’t need to worry about the visa thingy if I take this flight. I just need to figure out how I’m going to book the ticket since they currently don’t allow people who don’t reside in Saudi Arabia to make a flight booking online. BOO to Saudi Arabian Airlines!
I’ve been wanting to write a more meaningful post but I just had no inspiration and no time. Argh.