Friday, March 5, 2010

Travel Wish List

I've been having a mood for traveling in the last couple of weeks (Er, Boss, would you mind signing my leave permit?). So I'm thinking to write about places/countries I wish to visit. Here we go...

1. China-Japan-Korea

I can't keep these countries apart, because I'm somewhat obsessed with them. They just have to come in one package. I've visited China twice, the first was to Shanghai and the second Beijing, but if I could have the chance to go there again, I would like to go to Xinjiang region and see how the Chinese Muslims of Uygur ethnic group live. 

Why Japan? D went to Japan when M was seven-month pregnant (carrying me). I've heard from D about how beautiful Japan is, la la la la la, but actually I have a different things-to-do-when-you're-in-Japan list in my head. For example, I want to see people doing cosplay in Harajuku, buy an umbrella (I know it sounds odd, but my uncle once bought me an umbrella when he was assigned to Japan and it lasted for 10 years!), and eat sushi there (I wonder if they serve the same sushi as we have here). I hope I get to meet Takeshi Kaneshiro if I ever landed on the Land of the Sakura.

When I say Korea, of course I'm referring to South Korea. But if I have the chance to cross the border to its northern neighbor, I would grab it. Anyway, back to South Korea.. I have learned a few basic things since my assignment on Korea Cultural Week last year. For example, they eat kimchi (fermented vegetables), wear Han Bok and there are a number of good looking Korean actors. (Another confession: I'm a Korean drama fan) So maybe, just maybe, one of the things-to-do there is doing observation on the men? Hmm.

2. Russia

I'm sure you can guess this one from my previous posts. It's just a railway track away from China (Trans Siberia), and there's a lot of things the world need to know about the country. There's a Muslim community there. This year also sees the 60th anniversary of Indonesia-Russia relationship. 

3. India

Most travel stories usually complain about how dirty and foul-smelled India is. I have to confess that I'm a Bollywood fan. I want to see the place where Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan make their movies. LOL. I also want to dip my feet into the Gangga river, see Taj Mahal and do some yoga at a nearby ashram. And perhaps hitting a ball or two at a cricket game there? 

4. Egypt

Where should I start? I want to see the pyramids, cruise on the Nile river, cross the Aswan dam, go to Alexandria. I've tried Egyptian cuisine during Hotel Four Season Jakarta's food promo held Ramadhan last year, I think I can survive there. I just have to skip the desserts, they're super sweets.

5. France

If I have to put a Europe country in this list, it's got to be France. I mean, who does not love France (and Paris)? Ok, so maybe some of you raise your hands out there, French people can be very rude, I hear. But I have interest in French language, so I want to go to the land where it is spoken. Oh la la, amour...

6. Cuba

Being a journalist, coming to the world's second biggest prison for journalist (the first is China) is definitely a challenge. If I'm lucky, I may get a glimpse behind the bars of Guantanamo. Naahhh, it's just socialist and communist countries attracts me. Cuba is not only about cigars, Che Guevara murals and dudes with bongos but also the Caribbean beach and the free medical service as featured in Michael Moore's Sicko.

7. Greenland

Located between the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.When I was about nine year old, M took me to an exhibition on Greenland, and that was all. I was captivated by the fiords, snow capped mountains and beautiful scenery. We can also view aurora borealis there. 

8. Tanzania -- or to be precise the Serengeti National Park

Of all African countries, actually I want to go to Ethiopia. But since the Africa continent is a bit scary to explore, Tanzania and the Serengeti National Park seems the most possible choice. I've always wanted to go on a safari and see the wild animals in their habitat. But of course, learning some Swahili words and making friends with the locals will be fun too. Hakuna Matata! No problem!

I guess that's all for now.

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