Thursday, November 06, 2014

Leipzig 2014

So I was preparing a kebaya for some event, called my mom for a suggestion, thinking of going on a diet (NO WAY! LOL) when I got another call.  This time it was from IFI (Institut Français Indonesie),  so my proposal for an animation program got accepted.  There are 3 participant, 2 of them would be sent to Leipzig in a week, and the other one would be sent to Annecy next year.  OKAY it’s a roullete now.  It’s a win win thing. but going to German within a week could be challenging.  As you know Indonesia is a tropical country and it is Autumn in German.  I don’t even have any jacket.  So I called my mom, told her to forget about the Kebaya, I need warm clothes, just in case.

The IFI didn’t call for days, till suddenly at Wednesday I got a call: “Congratulation, you will go to Leipzig next week!”.  I can’t say that I was happy that time. I meant I haven’t prepared anything.  Of course it was exciting, and I’m happy, but I was more panic than happy.  The very next day I have to applied for a Visa.  Thanks to Katrin Sohns from Goethe Institut, the Visa application went smoothly, by Friday we already got the Visa and ticket to go to German at Sunday.  Thanks to Mbak Pia Maria who helped me making a travelling insurance.  Thanks to my Mom who especially prepared a big luggage full of warm clothes that I need even borrowed me  some euros.  Love you, Mom, I can't do anything without you :*

I went to 3 money changer on Friday, 2 of them don’t have any euros.  I wonder why.  Thankfully I got some euros, because my credit card didn’t work in German. I wonder why.
Thanks to the manager at the company, Kak Kus who allow me to take the day off in a short notice.  Cause it could be a once in a lifetime chance, there’s no way to skip it.  I kinda hope this once in a lifetime chance happens more :p

Thanks to my sister and her husband who drive me to the airport.  I met Johan Tri Handoyo at the airport.  Johan is the other participant who went to Leipzig with me.  It’s kinda funny, because it’s the third time we met at an animation event.  The first one was at Increfest, an animation and software festival in Bandung, he won the first prize, I won the best character design.  The second one was at The ASEAN Animation contest, so we both went to Bangkok together, shop together, and now went to Leipzig together again.  By the way, Johan and Me were studied at the same college but at the different year and different subject and both are from Bandung, both have “Tri” as middle name.  It’s strange to hear the recepsionist call me Miss Tri although my family name is Bambang.

Because there’s no direct flight to Leipzig, We took a plane to Abu Dabhi, then another plane to Berlin.  From Berlin we took the ICE Train to Leipzig Hopbahnhof.  It felt like a dream suddenly arrived in a very cold and different place compared to the 33 Celcius Jakarta :)
The Abu Dabhi airport roof, it's really crowded!

a picture of strangers at the Berlin train station LOL.

inside The Berlin Hopbahnhof

Thanks to Johan who is a better communicator, when we have the trouble at the hotel (check-in misscomunication), he took care of it, while me sleep peacefully, not knowing about the problem until next morning.  Thanks to Katrin Sohn again and Verene Lehmkuhl.
So basically we made it to Leipzig thanks to the help of many people :)

We were so tired as we arrived at the Hotel, we took some hours of break before going to the DokLeipzig Opening Ceremony.  

a view from the hotel's window.

OH I missed to write, that the reason we went to Leipzig was to go to 57th DokLeipzig Festival.  It’s a documentary film and animation festival.  To be honest I didn’t know anything about this festival before we go there.  Before we departed from there I was having nightmare because I read that Leipzig is a city for bycicling.  So I tried learning to bike, but failed, ended up having stiff legs.  Thankfully, we don’t have to ride a bike at all because all the venue is in walking distance.  I wanna punch Queen for singing “I want to ride my bycicle” song in my ears.


 before the opening ceremony of DokLeipzig

Passage Kinos, one of the Dok Leipzig Venue

Everything is amazing.  even the doors are amazingly heavy and big.  During the opening ceremony, there was a screening of Citizen Four, a documentary film about Snowden.  I rarely read news but He was on some news that I accidentaly read, something about how we lost our privacy when we used internet.  The Festival director during the speech said that the film considered ilegal, but we were so lucky to be able to watch it.  Indeed, I’m very lucky :)
The next day, we met Annegret Richter, the head of the Animation category of DokLeipzig.  She told us a lot about the program, and gave suggestion on which program to watch and join.  So, as her suggestion, we booked all of the animation screening program, and went to animaTalk to have a discussion with another animation directors.

It’s hard to pick my favorite animation on the festival because every animation is unique.  The technique and visual approach are very different to common animation in Indonesia.  it’s no longer just about 2D or 3D or stop animation. (I think I will make another post about this).
Since DokLeipzig is originally a documentary film festival, some of the animations are documentary animation.  What so special about the documentary animation is that the animation show things that no longer exist or protect the subject on the animation.  As example, the animation “Suleima” which is a documentary about a female activist in Syria, the identity is hidden and reanimated with the character called Suleima.  The other exciting thing is, this Film Festival is an international film festival, so we could see the world from various side, even the same war could be told in different story. 
The topic is not limited to heavy subject like war or politic, but also about family, love, and life.  Some are seriously funny, you didn’t even think it was actually a documentary like my favorite: Mend and Make Do.
There were also a special program called Animation by Kids. Like the title, the animations are created by Kids, I think they were 9 years old to maybe 16 years old.  The program was in German language without translation, so I don’t really understand.  The theater was full, even some of the parents had to wait outside so the children could watch it.  Me, of course watching it alone, I don’t have kids and I was so worried that they would ask me to get out because I was too old :D
The program shows that everybody could make an animation. it reminds me that animation is not just a moving picture and it’s really fun to make an animation.  I wish someday Indonesia has this kind of project, cause recently animation in Indonesia is not considered as art but more like an industrial product :(

At Saturday, we went to the screening of Jalanan by Daniel Ziv.  The movie is about 3 buskers from Indonesia.  Few months ago this movie was also screened at Chopshots Festival (held by Goethe Institut).  Back then I missed the screening because I was watching documentary animation program at Chopshot, so this time I didn’t want to miss it.  It’s really exciting to watch film about Indonesia created by foreigner and the screened in German.  The audience reaction was very good, some didn’t believe the film, even ask when was the film made, because it was too good to be true.  Because they read how Jakarta is full of violence and intolerance. So thanks to Daniel Ziv who had show a different side of Jakarta :).  I wish I could do that too.

Me, Daniel Ziv & Johan

On Sunday, there were only awarding ceremony and screening, so Johan suggested that we took the tram to sightseeing, so we did.  Leipzig is a vey tranquil and clean town.  It’s as if I was in Professor Layton’s world, except this is German, not UK.  
after 2 hours tram ride, Me and Johan decided to meet another Johann (but with double N), Johann Sebastian Bach.  We visited the Thomaskirche and then the Bach Museum.  The entry ticket was 8 Euro, but it’s really worth it.  Although I never or maybe didn’t aware of any Bach’s Composition, the Museum is really a place to visit.  I really love the interactivity, something that haven’t be applied in Indonesian Museum.  Too bad, we can’t take a picture there.  Jokowi, please send some spies there to learn how to make a fun museum.

 a miniature of Thomaskirche, but I think maybe it's more like a map for blind people, because there are some brailles on it.

Later we went to another museum.  The museum has a lot of collection from Palleolithicum Era, but somehow the English language extinct after the era, so we don’t know what is what.  Then we go upstair to the Modern Year Museum, it’s another fun and interactive museum.  It would be such a shame if the Leipziger never come to the museum since they have very fun museum to visit.

By the way I ate a lot of Sausages while we were in German (I usually living a semi-vegetarian diet in Jakarta, but nobody believe it).  I was surprised when I bought currywurst, because what they meant by curry is more like a lot of sauces, not curry like kari or something like gulai :D

 umm.. this is not a sausages, I don't know what it was, it's seriously delicious :p

I was planning to buy souvenirs at the Mall after the Museum visit.  The Mall is closed at 6 PM.  That’s really odd for Indonesian or maybe Asian. Cause Asian love late night shopping.  The Mall is also closed at Friday (October 31st), so I’m really sorry that I can’t buy souvenirs for my friends.  At least for me, going abroad or out of town equals shopping time.  Sorry, I can’t do it this time.

I'm partly grateful this shop was closed.  it's too cute!

On Monday, Me and Johan leave Leipzig for Berlin.  We went to Franzoschise Straße to meet Findri, an ex-worker from Goethe Jakarta.  We have lunch at the Ritter Sport Schoko Museum.  Thanks Findri, for spending your time with us and all your help, especially on explaining how cool is Berlin.  I owe you a Nasi Padang :) Using Findri direction, we visited Bradenburgh Gate. YES. WE ARE NOW OFFICIALLY VISITED BERLIN :D

We then visited some of the monument nearby, and then go back to the Sunflower Hostel.  The Hostel is very unique.  it’s my very first time staying in a hostel, might not be my last time.  The Hostel owner is into reggae music.  I like reggae, so I kinda feel like a little bit at home, it would be a lot like home if He played dangdut, anyway :p

 there are grafitti in every parts of the hotel. Cool!

The Hostel rules:
"We can provide alarm clock of a deposit at 6 Euro, Or get our special service fo 10 Euro, a personal appearance with bucket of water, a cup of coffee and a smile!"

Earlier in the morning, we checked-out, and then went to the airport.  I have some very last minute shopping. it’s not much but I got this Picture Book about Berlin for my sister.  She loves book, books with words, this book only got pictures but I believe it’s a cool collection.  I don’t like reading but I love bookstore, I visited almost every bookstore, and of course I had to buy a knitting book cause I like knitting.  I don’t understand any words in it,  the shopkeeper (who was very kind and friendly) said “oh so you really like knitting and bla bla bla bla” (in Germany, but I only understand he said I love knitting). I just smiled.

We arrived at Jakarta at 23:08, then I took a DAMRI Bus to Gambir. it was the last bus, so Lucky I got that bus cause there are a lot of fake taxi.  The taxi drivers tried their very best to lie by saying there’s no more shuttle car or Bus.   They lied, of course. There were only 3 passanger, 1 driver and 1 vice-driver (let’s pretend that’s a real term), but I arrived at Gambir safely.  From Gambir, I still need to take the taxi or bajaj.
Bajaj was never the option.  Riding a bajaj from the train station is always more expensive than taking taxi.   They said it’s also dangerous to take a taxi at night, exspecially a random taxi, with no argometer.  Well  if I rode a killer’s vehicle, I would prefer car over bajaj.  Let me  have that luxury. 
The taxi driver tried to scam me, he asked minimum tariff which is 35000 IDR.  it’s a scam because minimum tariff is usually just 15000 IDR.  it’s past midnight, so I don’t have any choice but argued with him.  I think jetlag makes me stupid.  What am I thinking, arguing with a strangers in the middle of the night? I almost cursed him but He took the bargain at 25000 (he’s old, so I can’t really cursed him).  I don’t have 5000 so I paid him 30000 anyway with smile, he smiled too. at least he asked for rupiah not euros.  it’s really nice to be back at the sauna.  My boarding house’s room without AC.

Finally the trip is over.  There are some place that I still want to visit, but there’s no regret cause one way or another I will surely go to Leipzig again, maybe to the DokLeipzig as the participant. Wish Me Luck!

Oh right, I still have to prepare for my Kebaya.  How do I get a Kebaya. Oh My God.

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