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Journey

The end of the beginning

“How can I see the ends of the Great Wall of China without having to go to outer space?” One could see the whole Great Wall of China only by watching it from outer space. Since SpaceX won’t be ready anytime soon – and I don’t know if I have …

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Journey

Blessing from the universe

The Silk Route was unique; trade, politics, arts, religion and so on inspired each other that new cultures emerged. The City of Dunhuang, and especially Mo Gao area, once proved it. Mo Gao, located 25 KM outside the city of Dunhuang, was originally built to create a pilgrimage spot for …

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Journey

The ubiquitous Lanzhou beef lamien

“There is no way one eats Lanzhou lamien without beef chunks and beef broth. What kind of lamien without beef?” my new friend Michael Ma asked me. “Vegetarian lamien,” I suppose.

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Journey

There’s always the first time of everything

The Yellow River, emerging from Kunlun Mountain and ended in Pacific Ocean was central to ancient Chinese culture. The river halved the City of Lanzhou, a significant communication centre along the ancient Silk Road route. According to archeological findings, soldiers, envoys, merchants, monks and poets who travelled along the ancient …

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Journey

Be grateful

His name was Li. I was sure he had a full name but he refused to mention it. As a deliveryman wearing Santa costume, his SoP required him to smile to people. Surprisingly, he said to my guide, “I hate this job. I don’t celebrate Christmas but I make money …

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Journey

History is made by mixing facts and interests

Today, I met Alibek Yeginbay, a historian born and grown up in Kazakhstan but has called Xi’an home for five years. Like me, he’s one of the doubters that Marco Polo actually took the trip as mentioned in the traveler’s book, The Travels of Marco Polo. Polo’s description of ancient …

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Life

Menjadi Keran

Saya kenal arti investasi jauh sebelum saya fasih apalagi terbiasa mengucapkannnya. Tak begitu jelas kapan saya mulai menghayati kata ini. Bisa jadi ketika saya diminta presentasi ‘mempertanggungjawabkan masa depan’ di depan orangtua saya, selang beberapa hari setelah diwisuda Oktober 1999. Berbekal coretan di selembar kertas A4, kemudian dilanjut dengan slide …

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Life

Home Was Not As It Used To Be

I didn’t plan traveling – except for work – to any parts of Indonesia this year. Somehow, I decided to buy ticket to Ambon with no specific plan other than marking my ten years of diving. The dives were okay, but I spent the rest of the holiday as a …

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Life

“So, you want to experience death?”

I recently told this to myself whenever I put my wetsuit on or had my goggles dipped in the water. It was funny, though. The one place that I feel home and at the same time terrified the most is water. Even when swimming in a pool filled with people …

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Life

Will A Scar (Ever) Hide the Wound Beneath?

At the end of October 2017, I felt the urge to return to Maluku, specifically Ambon and Banda Neira. I couldn’t tell myself why, but it seemed that something drove me to be in those places and see. Just see. And I did. Meeting schedule in Jakarta limited me from …

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