Archive for August, 2006

9 Aug – No More United Airlines Please

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

I woke up quite early, around 3.30am and finalised the packing. Then we head down to the lobby where we waited for a girl who wanted to share taxi with us. While waiting, we watched National Geographic channel which screened a story on the collapse of New World Hotel.
At 5.20am, the taxi and an irish girl whom I share the taxi with came (I forgot her name). She was working during summer holiday in Hyannis, and would continue her tertiary education in Budapest. She told me that she has always been a city girl, and was quite bored in Hyannis. It’s funny because I couldn’t tell that she’s an Irish through her accent, which was very much unlike Patrick’s accent. She admitted that American TV show has strong influence towards her accent.

We got off the taxi first and I said goodbye to her. We quickly checked in and I prayed for an empty flight. Then I bought some breakfast for me and Noe, with a cup of coffee of course.

 
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8 Aug – OLPC, MIT and Faneuil Hall

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

We woke up rather late, around 8am. Perhaps I didn’t realize that I was too tired the previous day. Also, I was unable to decide what to do for the day. So we just go by SJ’s invitation to attend One Laptop Per Child discussion near MIT. On the way there, we stopped by the post office to post Rita’s book from Singapore, then continued to the bagel place for breakfast. We had sausage wrap, which Noe really loved. Gosh, eating out is really expensive in Boston.
We then continued to take the T train to Kendall / MIT.

7 Aug – Boston Walk

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

I spent the whole morning packing to move out of the dorm that day. Then we had breakfast at the Harkness Commons. A cup of coffee with a bagel for me, and Noe had apple for breakfast. I then spent the whole morning chatting and exchanging pictures with the Wikipedian (Nicholas and Dror). The participants from india and nepal planned to go to New York by bus together, before going home to their respective countries. While I was chatting, Noe was playing and running around the Harkness Common. He was quite excited with the architecture of the place, with a lot of ramps and staircases. Great design by Walter Gropius. Also, I distributed gifts to the conference committee members as tokens of appreciation.

 

6 Aug – Wikimania Day 3

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

We started to establish a routine of waking up early and took a stroll along Harvard Yard. And Noe would always chase squirrels and birds. I would teach him how to pluck out flowers and leaves.

 
     

Then we would have breakfast in Pound Hall. This time, Noe played piano for the conference attendees while I had a chat with Mr. Engels from the Netherlands and one British guy (I forgot his name).

Then I went to drop Noe off at the baby sitter, where of course, he would cry for one hour. Apparently this routine would traumatize Noe a bit, and he started to become really clingy and won’t let me go in the dorm’s hallway. He would only be walk around by himself if I sit down calmly and not standing up. I hope he would recover soon. I am really sad and sorry that leaving you during conference has been a bad experience for you, I didn’t mean to make it difficult for you, Noe, but I’m sure you’ll get over it soon.

This is Noe with Emily (the baby sitter), Florence, Noe and Me

   

After the conference was closed, I picked up Noe and joined the group for post-conference discussion at the Harkness Commons on formation of Wikimedia Foundation local chapters.

   

In front of the Commons, Noe met this little Taiwanese toddler girl, and he chased her around. Then he plucked a flower and gave it to her. How romantic!

 

The wikipedians and we continued to have dinner in Harvard Square, at Unos. I had medium rare steak while Noe had kiddy cheeseburger. We had great discussion about many things in our table: Brad, Damien, Juan, KJ, Dongjin, Carissa, and me.

For the wikimania session I will write in Indonesian because there is already a lot of english blogs writing about it. In summary, on the 6th of August I attended the following sessions:

  • Mitch Kapor: I’d like to have an argument – Inspiration from Wikipedia about Collaborative Advocacy and Politics
  • Florence Devouard: Wikimedia Foundation – Building in Diversity
  • Wikimedia Foundation Board Panel
  • Wikia Lunch Meeting
  • Piotr Gawrysiak: Plans not Maps
  • David Weinberger: What’s happening to Knowledge?
  • Closing

5 Aug – Wikimania Day 2

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

Noe and I woke up very early in the morning, like 3.30am, because we went to bed quite early the previous day.

 

We decided to take a stroll around Harvard campus from six am in the morning. We went along the west side of Harvard Campus and into the Harvard Yard, exit to the edge of Harvard square and entering the campus again from the south side.

                     

I let Noe walk by himself from then on, and he had a great time chasing squirrels and discovered the joy of playing with puddles. He ran up and down Harvard library’s massive staircases, and chase up birds.

                     

I then took him for breakfast at Pound Hall where he got to know a nice lady who works for the catering service. Then I took him to the baby sitter and he cried again. But I had to go for sessions. I will write about the sessions further down in this blog entry.

After the conference that day, I took Noe to Cambridge Commons playground where he played with sands and other kids. I then took him to Harvard Square to get dinner, but the closest place from the dorm is Finnagle-A-Bagle which serves overpriced bagel of mediocre quality. It took them half an hour to cook bagel with omelet, and they even forget the bagel! So I had to walk back from Cambridge Commons to their shop just to get the Bagel. What a service.

After dinner I put Noe to bed and left him with Emily, the baby sitter. Then I continued to get a bus to MIT Museum for Wikimania Party. On the way, I met a Wikipedian from Tanzania and we had a chat about wikipedia situation in our respective countries. Then I met Carissa, a Harvard Law School PhD student from Taiwan who was taking a same bus as me. We had a discussion about women’s issues and family friendly policy. She thinks that although the west (i.e. American) seems to be more friendly towards family, it is not based on true family values but more on feminism and that men unwillingness to be perceived as sexist (if they forbid mothers with babies to participate in meetings, that is sexist).

The Wikimania party was cool, but not that many people attending. Out of 400 participants, perhaps only 100 attended this party.

For the wikimania session I will write in Indonesian because there is already a lot of english blogs writing about it. In summary, on the 5th of August I attended the following sessions:

  • Yochai Benkler: The Wealth of Networks
  • Rishab Ghosh: 200 Years of Collaborative Ownership
  • Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Knowledge
  • Lightning Talks
  • Michael Eisen: Open Academic Publishing
  • Jenny Preece: Community, Social Interaction, and Wikipedia
  • Wikis in the News (Discussion)

4 Aug – Wikimania Day 1

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

We woke up rather late, at about 7am because we slept late the night before. I put the laundry from the previous night into the dryer and continued to have breakfast: fried rice brought from the Nine Tastes. Again, Noe was eating a lot of fried rice, food that he missed a lot while in the US.

At 8am, we dressed up for the day and we went to the Childcare room in the dorm. Florence is already there and we both waited for Emily (the baby sitter) to come. Florence went out to Harkness Commons get muffins for her breakfast and she gave one muffin for Noe. Emily was late because there was disruption of the train service. I had to rush to the conference and I had to leave Noe without enough time for him to get use to Emily, to have a slow transition to the baby sitter. He ended up crying for full 40 minutes when I left the childcare room. Poor thing. Emily is a really lovely and a kind girl, I wish I had more time for Noe to get to know her better.

I went back every break and lunch time and everytime Noe saw me, he cried and became very clingy. I guess it was too much expecting him to be well adjusted to the new environment and being strong enough to be left alone with the new baby sitter.

At 17.20 I went back quickly because I was totally sleepy. I almost fell asleep in the Seminar room. We had a long sleep until the next day early morning.

For the wikimania session I will write in Indonesian because there is already a lot of english blogs writing about it. In summary, on the 4th of August I attended the following sessions:

  • Plenary by Jimbo Wales
  • Judith Donath: Identity, Anonymity, and the Wiki
  • Cathy Ma: Trust and Wikipedia
  • Plenary by Lawrence Lessig: The Ethics of the Free Culture Movements
  • Lodewijk Gelauff: Localization, on a global project?
  • Wiki Projects: WikiHow, WikiTravel, Diplopedia (Jack Herrick, Evan Podromou, Chris Bronk)

3 Aug – Check In at Harvard

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

Again, we woke up early and had a walk around the neighborhood. We had the leftover from last night as breakfast, and had great coffee made by Catherine. At 10am she drove us up to the Chocolate Factory and we had a deep discussion about chocolates along the way. In the factory, Tom then showed us around, from the unloading of raw material, storage, production, to the final packaging. He showed us the chocolate melting machine that works fast. However, once he didn’t know that he had a ‘tropical chocolate’ to melt, and it took the machine 12 hours to melt a bar of ‘tropical chocolate’. He showed us the machine for making the blueberry coated chocolate.

           

2 Aug – Train to Maine

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

Today I just plan to go easy with Noe and let him adjust to the new surroundings slowly. Noe woke up at 4am and I tried to put him to bed again, but couldn’t. So we decided to take a walk along the peninsula, through the woods. It was a nice place with rural atmosphere. Noe ended up chasing cats.

       

1 Aug – Train to Maine

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

Noe woke up around 3 am crying and looking for Bapak. I tried to put him to sleep again but he was so jetlagged and couldn’t sleep. So we decided to spend some time eating popcorn at the dining hall. I made a skype phone call from my PDA phone only to discover Indi who was so worried about my well being. I also wrote my blog entry.

About 5am I went to wash clothes at the laundromat, and then went out for a stroll. It turned out that the hostel is very close to Berklee College of Music. Noe had fun chasing pigeons on the pavement and we went to a playground nearby that has a beautiful murals

   

31 Jul – Flight to Boston

August 16, 2006

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

I woke up at 3am, anxious about the flight. I ran everything through over and over again, making sure that I didn’t forget anything. I was all set to go at 4.30, but waited for Masindi to get prepared until 5.00. However, big stormy rain poured in at 4.50 and didn’t stop until 5.15. I thought I was really destined to not go this time, considering all the hindrance and disruption that I have been experiencing, from ticketing problems and visa etc. Nevertheless, we decided to call a cab at 5.20 and braved ourselves through the rain. Once we were in taxi, the rain stopped! We were really cursed!

We arrived at Changi airport just in time for check in. We have to go through layers of security checks, like all the flights going to the US. So much of paranoia, that even affects mothers with babies (but then again, they argued that you could never profile terrorists). The security lady checked my luggage and asked me with ceremonial questions such as “do you pack your bags yourself?”, then she checked our US visas, and ushered us to the check in counter.

The check in lady told us that we couldn’t get bulkhead seats in the flights. Worse, we got middle seat in the 12-13 hours flight from Tokyo to Chicago. I just pray for miracle.
We then say goodbay to Indi, and enter the immigration checkpoint. From then on, I’m alone with Noe in unfamiliar places. Inside I was totally nervous. This was Noe’s first time in long-haul flight, and my first time traveling with Noe and without Indi.

The first thing I needed to do is to buy sanitary pads in the airport pharmacy, but I was so nervous of letting Noe run around while I’m doing my thing, so I ended up throwing the money for payment to the pharmacist. Then I put Noe into the stroller and walked towards the Delifrance bakery before going into the boarding area.

In the boarding area, Noe was running around, excited with the new place. A very friendly pregnant lady responded to Noe with a smile. Then we boarded the plane.

WHEN YOU ENTER A PLANE WITH A TODDLER AT HAND, YOU COULD SEE MANY NERVOUS EYES LOOKING AT YOU, PRAYING THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE SEATED NEXT TO THEM.

From Singapore to Tokyo, we were lucky to get an aisle seat with an empty adjacent seat. A lady who was supposed to sit in the next seat across the aisle asked for a different seat, probably because she’s afraid that Noe would make a lot of noise and disturb her beauty sleep. Good, more empty seats!

Turned out that Meng, my french classmate, was in the same flight as me, and she was seated behind me. It’s so funny, because she also has a daughter of the same age as Noe.
Noe was really excited during the flight. I was also physically well prepared and not tired yet, so we really enjoyed being on board. We had spinach omelette for breakfast, then Noe spend the rest of the six hours on the plane roaming around the aisle and playing with the flight attendants. They were really friendly and playful with Noe. Most of them are Singaporeans or Malaysian.