Bring Me Back to That Wonderland (Part 1)


Pont Alexandre III, Paris

You know, it was too good to be true. I was leaving for Paris at 21st April ago to accomplish the special mission on international final of L’Oreal Estrat Challenge. There was a real hope of ending three years title drought on University of Indonesia, but I failed to made it. I just could entertain and made a memorable presentation in front of the juries on behalf of VOC Team. A passionate presentation by Jessica Wang, Helen Lu, & Tim Coleman has put the Canadian team named “juventus” to win the world champion title in Gustavo Eiffel, Eiffel Tower, Paris. Congratulation !! Their look was truly their story !!

Forget about it! Paris is wonderland, everyone won’t deny it. Everybody’s stoned on pride and drunk on cheap champagne, said Faith Hill. I’d like to share everything I got when I traveled in Paris. There were too many wonderful story about my spring holiday over there. One of the most memorable moment is a farewell party with Maria Jose Burdalo Prieto, a cute Spanish girl. Seemed to meet once, like ships that pass in the night, and maybe will never meet again. If there were a bit dissappointment, it’s our missed-opportunity to visit the Parisien Red District. (Gosh !!!)

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Well, let’s start the journey. One of my dream to see the world beyond the sea has been accomplished. I’m kind of starting with Europe traveling, and maybe visit one place after another. I was in Paris together with my fellow Estrater, Ronald, Fakhrul, Adhi, Yayang, & Indri. Our lectures (just call them Mbak Felly & Mbak Wulan) ‘oversaw’ our activity in Europe. We flew out from Kuala Lumpur for a two hour layover. Then, we got Malaysian Airlines flight directly to Paris. Everything started looking up. I honestly hate that plane since there were too many commercials. You know, I hate commercial!! There were almost no empty seats so that I wasn’t able to spread out a bit and get some sleep. I realized that it’s impossible for me to sleep on airplanes. Finally, I got my 13 hours flight without sleeping before arriving on Charles de Gauille International Airport, Paris.

Charles de Gauille, Paris

Charles de Gauille, Paris

Me with Om Alex from Indonesian Embassy at Holiday Inn

We landed in Paris with a tired, hungry, sleepy, and a bit lost condition on 7am. It was a gorgeous morning. The fog is just lifting, revealing this glowingly green landscape. The wind blew on just 12 celcius temperature. The envoy of Indonesian embassy picked us up to the hotel. And then, in the first 4 days, we stayed at Holiday Inn hotel on Porte de Clichy, Paris as International Finalists. We checked it in on 8am and then seek for some food and beverages at 11am. Unfortunately, there were no shop could provide us a breakfast menu since the time had been through to have a breakfast. We needed to wait until 12am to get some lunch menus. The waiter served us politely. He knew that we are moslem. And then, he offered us a without-pork menu.

First Lunch at Paris

First Lunch at Paris

The next two days were passed by the Loreal Estrat activities. In the international final competition, we were guided by an eccentric Polish L’Oreal buddy named Piotr Kurpinski. He looks like David Beckham at glance. He did eccentric behavior as he couldn’t give a hoot about what others think. But he was nice as pie actually. He never stopped to encourage us to win the game. For your information, he is the first person who encourage me to keep breathing down Maria in Paris. He said (if I’m not mistaken), ” If I were you, I’d catch her soon and tell her that her face like a beautiful Alpen.”

"Fajar, If I were you, I'd catch her soon and tell her that her face like a beautiful Alpen"

The joy of visiting Paris were start on the evening after the competition, when we were regaled on Gustavo Eiffel Room in Eiffel Tower on International Award Ceremony. I also saw Paris from the tower. Paris always go the extra mile for the visitors. The cocktail party ended the international ceremony. The real acquaintanceship between me and the Italian girl named Franziska Mair was one of the part of this episode. Actually, I knew her in the hotel before. She’s very kind girl and I’m glad to know her further. I’d like to whisper sweet nothings in her ear as we danced, but I didn’t.

Our Presentation at International Final

Me with Franziska Mair at Eiffel Tower

The Cocktail Party

Oh, I almost forgot one thing. I don’t know what will you think about me when I say that it was the first time for me to take a pork. Yeah, I did it! Honestly, it’s very delicious. Maybe I have to thank to Allah since I didn’t suffer from swine flu when I have arrived in Jakarta :p (just kidding..)

The final moment is the farewell party on L’Oreal headquarter. You know, this is a spot time when I could encounter with my favorite girl named Maria Jose Burdalo Prieto. I thought the world of her. She’s damn beautiful!! I told her that I adore her so much, and she looked glad to hear my confession. I guess I was freak to tempt her, but she said not really. In this event, finally I got my first international certificate from L’Oreal Estrat Challenge.

My first International Certificate

Me with Maria Burdalo

The Farewell Party

The Farewell Party

The joy of visiting Paris were continued at Champ Elysees. We met Indonesian abroad student Melinda Savitri and she escorted us to explore the prestigious avenue with its cinema, cafes, luxury specialty shops, and stunning tree in Paris. We set off for Champs Elysees in the night despite the dark clouds gathering in the sky. We were walking down the street, from the Arc de Triomphe , Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, Grand Palais, until Pont Alexandre III bridge. They are so damn romantic places. We were really on the edge of our seat in that night. We eventually left the bridge to back to Arc de Triomphe. Fortunately the rain had stopped in spite of the wind chill everywhere we were keen to see throughout the street.

Me with Ronald, Yayang, & Adhi @ Champs Elysses

In front of Arc de Tromphe

Me with Melinda

And that was our illustrious and surprisingly smooth first episode in Paris. Adventure of the Italy Tour and second episode of Paris coming up next!

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6 Responses to “Bring Me Back to That Wonderland (Part 1)”


  1. 1 Siim July 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Dare I say, mission accomplished? 🙂

    • 2 Fajar July 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      Yes Sir !!! :))

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  1. 1 Only Words Can Make You Money » Bring Me Back to That Wonderland (Part 1) « Symphony of Life Trackback on October 13, 2009 at 3:43 am

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