2nd year of Norway chapter

Another one-year has gone by. November 1st 2012 marked the end of my 2nd year stay in Norway. Time flies. The upside of the story is that good things occurred during the last one year. Some progress on my research work, some (conference) trips to new places, made new friends along the way, tasted new traditional food and drinks, tried (fake) cross-country skiing, met old friends, and the list goes on. However, downside is inevitable, which includes not enough progress on my research work (at least from my feeling’s perspective), time inefficiency at workplace, could have worked harder for research results, not enough outdoor activities, and Facebooked too much (the actual list can indeed be longer than this). Ah yes, I could have blogged more frequently as well 😛 As I have promised myself, I will do my best to update my weblog at least once a year, and I believe my birthday is a good time for looking back and review my life journey throughout the last one year.

I went to Paris, France, in late December 2011 (the third week or so), visiting an old friend whom I used to work with arranging small events at the university during the good old bachelor days back in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It was not my first time visiting Paris (in fact the first time I visited Paris was when I was about 10 or so during school summer break with my parents), but it was a bit special since it was the first time I celebrated Christmas in Paris. I (and my old friend plus his wife) attended a late night Christmas Eve mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. I missed visiting the Palace of Versailles and Disneyland Paris, though (due to time constraint).

Eiffel tower, Paris, France

I visited Aalborg, Denmark, in the third week of January 2012 for two days with my professor for a meeting with one of UiA’s partners. During the first week of February 2012, I visited Vilamoura, Portugal, to present a paper for publication at a scientific conference. There was nothing much to do or see apart from attending the conference (and walking around the marina and the beach), though. Too bad that the conference tour and dinner required extra payment (which stopped me from participating since such event’s cost will not be covered by the university where I currently work for). But it was still special for me since it was my very first time touching the soil of Portugal. And the 4-star hotel where I stayed for several nights was quite good as well. Quite a bad experience during my return trip to Grimstad, though. Luggage issue due to wrong information from a check-in desk staff at Lisbon airport.

Healthinf 2012 conference, Vilamoura, Portugal

I bought cross country skiing equipments in mid February 2012, and was quite surprised to find out that the boots are made in Indonesia (yes, Indonesia is located at the earth’s equator, and there is no snow all year round). I tried skiing with a friend in an open field covered with snow (hard thick snow actually, since the winter was almost over), and found it quite interesting. Will definitely try again this winter.

Cross country skiing, Grimstad, Norway

I moved to a university apartment nearby the university (distanced <100 meters from the university) in late March 2012 due to noise issues from the neighbours who couldn’t respect night hour regulations (and also the fact that everyone living in the building will have to move by June 2012 due to total renovation plan). The new apartment/dorm is much better in many ways, so I was quite satisfied with the move.

I went to Nordkapp on a cruise trip (Hurtigruten) during the first weekend of April 2012 with an old friend (we studied together in Aachen, Germany). Nordkapp is considered to be the northern-most spot of continental Europe (although I remember the tour guide mentioned that it is actually not the northern-most point, but the northern-most point that can be easily accessed by humans). The interior of the ship actually looked more like a hotel than a ship, but anyhow, we slept inside a small cabin (the cheapest available option). I remember being baptised (with ice) by (fake) king Neptune in a special ritual when the ship passed through the Arctic circle. We also tried the yakuzi (hot pool) on the top deck of the ship. It was quite an amazing sea-trip experience.

Nordkapp, Norway

During mid June 2012, an eHealth week event took place at University of Agder campus Grimstad. I and one master student presented our latest research results as well. During the same week, the eHealth group of UiA was highlighted on a local newspaper, Agderposten.

eHealth week 2012, UiA Grimstad, Norway

Agderposten, 11.06.2012

Jump to the first weekend of July 2012, I and three other friends (two of them were flatmates when I was in Trento, Italy) travelled to Preikestolen, not far from Stavanger, Norway. The hike to the top was demanding, and the weather was not friendly at all (light showers and quite hard rain at some points). But we made it to the top (and back) anyway. The scenery was awesome from the top. Unfortunately I did not dare to sit at the edge of the cliff (as many people did). We travelled around the city center of Stavanger as well the day after hiking.

Preikestolen, Norway

In the same month, I attended another scientific conference in Lisbon, Portugal, and presented a paper for publication. I found the city of Lisbon quite amazing (although it was very hot in mid July). Strolling around the city center while enjoying ice cream was simply unforgettable 🙂 The (free of charge) conference trip and dinner to Obidos was also exciting. I remember having a nice walking trip with a friend from the conference at the closing day of the conference. The hotel where I stayed during the conference was unstarred, so I did not expect much for the provided service.

Belem tower, Lisbon, Portugal

During the last weekend of July 2012, I and two other friends had a cruise trip around Sognefjord in Bergen, Norway. We went to Fjærland and saw the largest glacier site in Norway, Jostedalsbreen. The scenery along the fjords was very beautiful. Highly recommended for nature-lovers. In the evening we walked around the city center of Bergen, and enjoyed a delicious Thai food dinner.

Sognefjord, Norway

During the first week of August 2012, I and three other friends visited Istanbul, Turkey. It is a beautiful city with rich historical background and many things to see. We visited, among others, the famous Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. We also tried the hop on-off bus tour which passed through the Bosphorus bridge which connects European and Asian parts of Istanbul (yes, we spent some time in the Asian part of Istanbul).

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

At the closing date of August 2012, I presented my research progress for the second (or third, I cannot remember exactly) time at the PhD forum at University of Agder in Grimstad, Norway. Not many people attended my presentation, but I still received some inputs as well as questions.

UiA PhD forum, Grimstad, Norway

I attended another conference in Oslo, Norway, during the last week of September 2012, and once again presented a paper for publication. Several days earlier, UiA’s eHealth group appeared once again on a local newspaper, Grimstad Adressetidende.

Grimstad Adressetidende, 20.09.2012

During the third week of October 2012, I travelled to Madrid, Spain, to attend two co-located conferences. I presented two papers for publications in those two conferences, and (luckily) one of the papers got best paper award (yeah!) 😀 The conference’s (free of charge) tour and dinner event was nice as well. The 4-star hotel where I spent some nights was good, except that the cleaning service personnel seem to occupy most of the afternoon for hours cleaning the rooms. I spent some time walking around the city center of Madrid, and was touched by the lively vibrant atmosphere. I even saw a (peaceful) demonstration taking place. On Saturday, October 20th 2012, I watched a live match between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo at the renowned Santiago Bernabeu stadium. I also took a stadium tour the following day.

Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Madrid, Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty – Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Madrid, Spain

During my stay in Madrid for the conference, UiA’s eHealth group was featured on Computerworld Norway. The article can be accessed here.

And last but not least, November 5th is my birthday (which is today). Sadly time flies so fast, and I am now 28. I hope I can overcome my shortcomings in the previous year, and be more productive while still enjoying every bit of daily activities, which hopefully will be illuminated with wonderful experiences. Ah yes, by the way, for my birthday present I bought myself a Google Nexus 7 tablet computer 😀

Boxed Nexus 7 and a birthday card from far away

It was an exciting one-year experience during my second year stay in Grimstad, Norway. Life goes on, and I hope great adventures and experiences will await me in the following year.


4 Responses to “2nd year of Norway chapter”

  1. 1 a.bang.tam.pan March 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

    mas, mas, ini sudah 2013, mas…

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