Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer in Portland!

Dear readers of my blog:

What's up guys? Today is Saturday, and Summer quarter begins on Monday! I literally cannot believe that I've been here for 6 months. I know this sounds cliché, but time really has passed by quickly. Soon, it'll be Fall quarter, then Winter, then Spring, and before I know it, I'll be graduating! From what I've heard, being an adult kinda sucks, so I'm really trying to cherish my time as a teenager while it lasts.

Anyway, as the title suggests, I went to Portland! Why Portland? Well, it's not so far away from Washington state, which makes it a pretty famous holiday destination for Green River students. Moreover, they don't apply taxes there!

It was only for 3 days and 2 nights though. Nevertheless.... it was amazing. There were 8 of us: Firda, Dea, Carol, Smita, Fadhil, Andi, Dary and I. We took the 7.30am Amtrak train from Auburn on Saturday, 16th June, and arrived in Portland at about 11-ish or 11.30. My first impression on Portland: Wow, this city is way cooler than Seattle. I'm serious though. Look at the recycling bins! I've never seen one as creative as that. It looks amazing. Portland really is a hipster city, huh? The reason I'm saying this is because just before I left Auburn, my hostmum made this remark: "Oh you're going to Portland? That's a really hip city!"And true enough.... Portland really is hip. Another observation I made was the demography of Portland. Seattle and its surroundings has quite a variety of races. On the other hand... I have to say that there weren't many black or latino people in Portland. Most of them were white.

After we arrived, I'm not exactly sure what we did.. We kinda just walked around the city, I think we were trying to find our hotel? But I'm not exactly sure because hotels don't accept check-ins until usually 2 or 3pm, right? Oh, and there was another problem. We didn't really have a map of Portland, which made things kinda hard. Usually they would have maps of the city in train stations and airports right; you know, the ones with all the attractions and good places to eat. But there weren't any of those at the train station. Luckily, in this technologically advanced world we live in, there's this thing called a 'GPS', and luckily, that 'GPS' is available on most phones. Hence, that's how we survived. And hence, that's another reason why I love technology. Getting back to my main point.... We passed the Portland Farmers market on the way, and there were loads of people there. 

At about that time (which was around 1pm), most of us had become pretty hungry, and you know how people are when they're angry right? Yeah, people can get a bit aggressive and annoying when they're hungry. It's like you can't do anything properly until you get something in your stomach. Using Dea's iPhone, we looked for restaurants....but without success. Luckily, we spotted a Safeway, and we just decided to eat there. Safeway is not exactly the place you would want to eat when you're on a holiday in another state, but we were hungry and we needed food immediately. So... yeah.

After that, we went to the Oregon Historical Society! We actually weren't intending to go there. There's a park across the building, and we were just sitting there wondering what we should do. We actually didn't realize there was a museum across the street! We were taking pictures in front of this horse statue when a lady came up to us and said that just for that day, there were free admissions into the museum! Sweet! So we went in and looked around. It turned out the lady who told us about the museum worked in the souvenir shop. Hahaha.

(From left to right: Andi, Fadhil, Firda, Dea)

This is my attempt at planking, btw.

And this is my attempt at teapotting! The girl on the right is Dea, if you were wondering.

(From left to right: Me, Dea)

After that, we went to our hotel and checked in. We stayed at Downtown Value Inn, which I would say is a pretty decent motel if you're looking for cheap accommodation. Obviously, as college students we have priorities which do not include staying in expensive hotels, and anyways, even if we had the money... why should we stay in an expensive hotel if we're gonna be out most of the time?

After we settled in, we left once again. This time, we went to the Japanese Garden. I have one word to describe it: wonderful. It was pretty cool, and obviously, it might differ here and there from what Japan is actually like, but I thought it was pretty cool. It has pretty cheap admission too, so if you're visiting Portland, go visit the Japanese Garden!

(From left to right: Carol, Me, Firda)

(From top left to top right: Dary, Carol, Dea, Firda, Smita, Andi. From bottom left to bottom right: Me, Fadhil)

(Carol made a remark about this scene as one of those free wallpapers Windows give you haha)

After that, we went to the International Rose Test Garden which is just a couple of minutes from there. Likewise, it was wonderful!

And with that, I have wrapped the first day. We started off our second day in Portland by visiting OMSI, which is short for: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I guess you could say there's a lot of science-related stuff (as suggested by the name). It's worth visiting while you're in Portland.

(This is basically a miniature of one of the planets... I forgot which, though)

(This is one of the brain teasers there. You have to make the string go through all of the holes, but the string can only pass through each hole once. I spent 15 minutes trying to solve it but I couldn't. It's so freaking challenging that I might try to solve it right after I finish writing this blog post....)

After that, we spent the rest of the day shopping at Woodburn Factory Outlet! And man, that factory outlet is huge! I got some pretty good deals over there. I didn't really buy much, because (1) I didn't feel that I needed to buy them and (2) I knew that I don't really have that much money to spend. My favorite item from that shopping trip was this cool denim jacket/blouse. I don't have one yet so that adds to my wardrobe! And with that, the second day of my holiday in Portland has ended.

The third day was basically not such a good day. You know how it just feels sad cause it's the last day of the trip? Anyway, on the morning of the last day, Smita and Dary went to PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) while the rest of us went to Honey's Cafe to have breakfast! We actually wanted to go there on the first day of our trip, but it was closed, so we decided to go on the last day. I have to say that it was pretty decent food for a pretty inexpensive price. It was nice.

After that, we went back to the hotel to check out, and then we headed for Voodoo Doughnuts! It's basically this really famous doughnut store in Portland. I'm not sure as to why it's famous though, but I just bought it as sort of a souvenir for my hostfam.

We then decided to pay a visit to the Chinese Gardens, but when we arrived, we realized that we had to pay to get in, and some of us weren't ready to spend an extra buck. Hence, we went straight for the train station.

(The picture above is a photo of the train station--Union Station. Somehow I think it looks like the train station in Jogja)

(The inside of the train station)

After about, say, 40 minutes at the train station, some of us got a bit restless and decided to go out for a walk. It was still around 1pm and our train leaves at 2.30pm. So Dary, Carol, Smita and I decided to go to Powell's City of Books. It's this really famous and huge bookstore in Portland. Honestly, if I could, I would've spent a whole day there. There's just so many awesome books to look at. Some of the books there are used, so you can get them for really cheap prices. True enough... we were nearly late. We nearly missed the train. I'd say that we got carried away at the bookstore. As a result, we had to walk really quickly back to the train station. Carol even forgot where she put here train ticket and had to buy a new one. Luckily, once inside the train she found it (and hence, can get a refund for it). All in all, it was an amazing trip! Thanks to everyone who came with me to Portland, it was a huge succes! Hahaha seriously though. It's the first time I've been out of state, and it was a really nice holiday. It's only been a week since I got back to Auburn, and I'm already looking forward to the next trip! Haha.

I hope this blogpost has somewhat been fun to read, and maybe rather informational. If you're a student at Green River, and you're deciding on where to go for the break... well, Portland is a good place to go!

That's all from me, and BYE!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High

Readers! How've you been? I hope you've had an amazing week :)

I realized that I haven't posted anything since 1.5 months ago...

I had a job interview for the Student Marketing Assistant here, and in some way, it kinda inspired me to keep my blog running. Well, for one, I made a commitment that if I were to be hired as one of the Student Marketing Assistants for Indonesia, I would utilise the internet in order to attract more students, and before you think that I lied just to convince Geoff that the job would suit me.....well, I didn't lie. I really am going to do that. And even if I don't get the job, I'm gonna use the Internet to my advantage as much as I can. I'll continue making blog posts, and I'm gonna try to use Youtube so that it benefits me. And so...that was kinda how I wanted to update my blog. I'm not exactly sure how (at least not yet), but I'm gonna find a way.

So what's up guys? I recently bought The Sims 3 for my MacBook, and I planned to spend the whole weekend playing it, but guess what? Yeap. The freaking college ruined my plans. I have two tests on Monday: Psychology and Math. For's a multiple choice exam and the teacher likes to put in a lot of detail, so I'm gonna have to memorize a lot, and I HATE MEMORIZING. For Math... I STILL  CAN'T QUITE GRASP THE PARAMETRIC thing. Sometimes I do it right, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I'm just careless. And then, I've got a follow up paper due on Monday for my British Literature class. And then... I have math homework that I haven't finished. This one is my fault, cause I didn't start on it earlier hehe. And then...I've got a Business test due Monday. "What? A test but you can bring it home?" Yup!

So that's pretty much how my weekends going to go. Homework after homework, subject after subject. OH! The finals of the UEFA Champions League between Chelsea FC and Bayern Munich is tomorrow! I'm definitely rooting for Chelsea since it's my favorite soccer club :3 Sadly, JT, Ramires, Meireles and Ivanovic aren't gonna be able to play in the game due to accumulation of cards... But hey. Chelsea isn't just about those four players. There are tons of other good players in Chelsea, like Lampard, Drogba, Cech, and there's loads more. So I'm confident that Chelsea can still win this game. #KTBFFH


Indira Pranabudi

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"My Name"

Today’s the second day of the Spring 2012 Quarter, and I already had a homework for my British Literature class. The homework was to write an essay, it can be a quarter of a page or more than one page, about our name. I thought it was rather interesting so I decided on publishing it here. So here it is, folks!

Indira Noor Hanifa Pranabudi. The name “Indira” has Indian roots; it refers to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and the wife of Vishnu. Indira also means beauty and splendor. So here is how the story starts: when I was born, my father had just come back from India for work purposes. He highly admired Indira Gandhi, who was the third prime minister of India. Hence, my parents named me Indira.

Honestly, I’m not really fond of the name “Indira.” Not because it was an Indian name, but just because it didn’t sound cool to me. I was not a very big fan of India too, because India is Asian, and as an Asian, I wanted to have a Caucasian name, because that was what Asians thought was cool. However, as I grew older, I started to appreciate my name more. My name is unique, and I would rather stick out like a sore thumb than be the same as the other kids in school. I also realized how hard it must have been for my parents to choose a name for me. If they had thought that Indira was such a bad name, they would not have named me that! I do, however, hope that my parents realized that Indira Gandhi was assassinated. I hope that doesn’t happen to me.

“Noor”, on the other hand, is derived from the Arabic language. It means light. My parents named me this so that I would be the light in the darkness, or probably what One Direction would say as someone who “lights up [someone else’s] world like nobody else.” The name “Noor,” or either wise spelt “Nur,” is also derived from the 24th Sura of the Qur’an, “An-Nur.” Noor is also my mother’s middle name.

The name “Hanifa” is derived from the Arabic language. It means true believer of Islam. Obviously, my parents named me this so that I would not stray from the Islamic path.

Last but not least, “Pranabudi” is my family name. But, no, it’s not my grandfather’s name. It’s my father’s last name, but it’s not my grandfather’s last name. In Indonesia, it isn’t common to have a family name. However, my family does. That was because we lived in the UK for 2 years, and everybody in the UK has last names, so my siblings and I added my father’s last name to our names, and it became our family name.

My grandparents give my father the name “Pranabudi” because the doctor that helped my grandmother give birth was Dr Prana, and in Indonesia, “Budi” means the good will of others. My grandparents wanted to express their gratefulness to Dr Prana, and ta dah! They named my father Pranabudi.