All roads lead to… Batam

Hello, friends and family! It’s been like what – MONTHS, since my last post so I don’t know what to put on this one.

To start it off, I wanna let yous know that I left Siberia already! It was actually two months ago. Remember my mate J? We both left on July 16 right after we finished the second season of summer camp. We boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway in Krasnoyarsk in early morning and disembarked in Irkutsk the next day. The journey took around 22 hours and that was one of the greatest experiences of my life! Just so you know, Irkutsk is the city where Lake Baikal, world’s deepest and oldest lake, is situated but sadly we didn’t get the chance to appreciate the beauty of Siberia’s most astounding wonder as we had to catch our flight to Bangkok in three hours. Nevertheless, I got to see Siberian dachas and taigas along the way! Continue reading “All roads lead to… Batam”

Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

Greetings from Siberia, friends and family! First and foremost, let me express my sincere gratitude for the positive feedbacks I received from the previous mail. I was blown away! THANK YOUS!

Today marks my third week in Krasnoyarsk. As time goes by I have met new people, visited new places, and obviously experienced new things I would’ve never thought I would do. I couldn’t write last week because the school office was still closed for the holidays and still is, means no internet for me. But luckily, the school director came to my flat this morning and gave me a loaded-up prepaid USB modem. It’s not the fastest connection but I’m so glad I have 24 hours of internet access now! Fantastic, right? Apparently there’s not much happening this week either because I only spent most of the times in the flat and to be honest it’s been a pretty rough and challenging one. Continue reading “Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations”

I survived my first week in SIBERIA

Hello everyone! Yes, I did. I can’t believe I survived my first week in Krasnoyarsk. It is SUPER COLD and a bit lonely here. There are so many things I want to tell!

The city of Krasnoyarsk is located in the heart of Siberia region, Russia Federation. I arrived here Sunday morning last week with twenty-hour layover in Beijing. Speaking of Beijing, I got to meet my two friends V and D again! I met them about two months ago, also in Beijing. V is a former Jakarta Sister City delegate and currently a student at 北京大学. She’s nice and fun. And J, he was one of the local volunteers at Beijing Sister City Youth Camp 2016 in which I participated, and happens to be one of my best friends now! He’s a really great guy! Continue reading “I survived my first week in SIBERIA”

Headed to Beijing!

Hello everyone! Just a quick update. I have just been elected as one of three Jakarta Sister City ambassadors. I’ll be touring to one of Jakarta’s sister cities to promote the concept of a future city of Jakarta that emphasises three main aspects: smart, ecological, and cultural. My first stop is… BEIJING! So I’m probably going to be refraining from Facebook or blogging for the next few months. However, I’m also planning to make video updates so stay tuned! I love you!! –Deny

It’s not that easy being green

As someone who was born in the early 90s, I had the privilege of growing up when technology hadn’t yet taken over. It was the time when we spent most of our childhood years playing outside, dancing in the rain, and engaging with nature. I still can recall how life was like before the internet, or when the internet already existed but dial-up was the only option. Back then carrying floppy disk was a sign of being tech savvy and the paper fortune could predict someone’s future.

Back in the 90s, TV shows were the ultimate crème de la crème. Programmes like Sesame Street/The Muppet Show and The Land Before Time had filled my childhood days with laughter and joy. On the 219th episode of The Muppet Show, Kermit the Frog sang a classic song called It’s Not That Easy Being Green. The song talks about accepting yourself for who you are. In the song, Kermit expresses his ambivalence about his colour, noting that green “blends in with so many other ordinary things” and wishing that he were some other colour instead. During the bridge, Kermit realises that there are some powerful associations with the colour—“green can be big, like an ocean, or important, like a mountain, or tall like a tree.” In the end, he decides that he’s happy to be green—“it’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”

If you know me personally, you’ll most likely know green is my favourite colour. Green the most common colour in the natural world, which represents freshness, growth, and harmony. I’m happy to be green, though it’s not that easy sometimes. Continue reading “It’s not that easy being green”

I chose to travel

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

About 30 months ago I decided to leave the university. First, my best friend committed suicide and it ruined everything. Second, I was very unhappy with it because I didn’t have a passion for what I was studying. Long before I went to uni, I always knew it really wasn’t for me. Continue reading “I chose to travel”

Shut up and write

A few weeks ago a student came to me and asked genuinely, “Teacher Deny, why do you write so often? Aren’t there better things to do?” It wasn’t the first time I got asked that question, yet I still can’t figure out a short answer. So, for the sake of writing, these are the three main reasons why I write and how it helps me become a better person. Continue reading “Shut up and write”

Leaving on a jetplane

Distance of time and place generally cure what they seem to aggravate; and taking leave of our friends resembles taking leave of the world, of which it has been said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible. Today, I close the door to my past… Open the door to the future, take a deep breath and step on through to start the next chapter of life. I don’t know where the journey will end, but I know where to start.

A photo posted by Deny Setiyadi (@dgsetiyadi) on

Goodbye, Batam and hello, Beijing!