Belle and Sebastian at Coachella 2015

Belle and Sebastian are an indie pop band from Scotland from the 90s and I have been a fan for over 10+ years now. Their songs played a major part in my college days in the 2000s – an era where I spent so much time browsing for new music and listening to different kinds of them.

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Coachella Camping

Camping in Coachella is actually not mandatory – it’s just one of the accommodation options when you are going to the Festival. However, since I came all the way from Indonesia and it was my first Coachella… might as well just camp to have the full Coachella experience. My boyfriend has been to Coachella before but he did not camp.. so it’s his first time too. Excitedddd!

When we purchased the ticket in May 2014, we purchased a car camping spot as well. This would give us a 10′ x 30′ spot the car camping area. The spot must be filled with a car and a tent. It’s then up to us how many do we want to bring in our spot, as long as everyone has a festival pass. The spot is good for the whole Coachella weekend and once you’re in, you can’t drive your car out until the festival is finished.

This year the festival area was opened since Thursday 9AM. We arrived in the afternoon, just with enough time to build our tent before the sun sets.

Our neighbors.. preparing their tent
Our neighbors.. chillin!
After our tent was built, we spent some time resting and got to know our neighbors. As you can see from the pictures above, the space is rather packed so we thought it’s a good idea to get to know our neighbors. Interestingly, both our left and right neighbors were college students, all from California.

They are young and from what we overheard (hahaha), some are not even 21! Ahhh good old days of partying :p They are the typical American college students we often see in the movies – making us look like old married couple compared to them hahaha (yet we’re not even married! lol). But they were nice and although they could be noisy at times, it was still tolerable to us.

View from our tent in the morning
By now I hope you already have a clearer view of what it’s like to camp in Coachella. But perhaps you still wonder – was it boring? what to do when the festival site was still closed? (they opened at 11AM every day).

The answer is.. no, it was not boring at all. In fact the experience was so interesting! Some group of people prefer to have their own “party” in their camping spots, just chill, played some music, some drinking games. But there’s also a camping center inside the camping area – a big melting pot full of activity centers, food trucks/stalls, farmer’s market, games booth, internet booth, and even a beauty bar! All activities were for free, but be prepared to queue. Like this one day I wanted to try the beauty bar, I came there at 11AM and they were full booked until 3PM. The stylist told me people started queueing since 6.30AM hahaha… i’d rather sleep if that’s the case :p

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Camping Center – Full of activities!
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There’s something for everyone!
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Salon in the desert? why not! 😀
Other than the question I answered above, when I told my camping story to my friends at home, I also got two other “frequently asked questions”, lol. One is – how did you get food to eat?  the answer is… we cooked! Hohoho. Yep, we brought a cooler with dry ice (which surprisingly lasted for the whole weekend!), a gas stove, and purchased some meat, eggs, and also.. Indomie. YESSS. So our meals were never a problem , we cooked breakfast (normally eggs + bacon), lunch (normally steak+eggs), and supper (normally indomie :P). We had dinner inside the Coachella festival area because the festival had some interesting food stalls/trucks we wanted to try. But, with cooking we could save money and also have one interesting experience!

The other question (and the most commonly asked!) is – where did you shower?  well shower was not a problem at all for us because there were shower trailers (separately for men and women) available – pretty decent to my standards. We made a mistake on Friday morning when we wanted to take a shower at around 7AM… we had to queue for almost an hour! No fun but we figured we had to shower anyway so we did it. Later that day after we came back from the festival, feeling so tired and dirty because of all the dust in the desert, we decided to take a shower again at night.. approximately around 11PM. To our surprise there was no queue and the shower trailer looked like it was just being cleaned! After that day, we always took a shower at night while we were there.. more comfortable and we could sleep better at night, feeling fresh 🙂

Image from: http://temporarykitchens1-2-3.com/products/disaster-modular/mobile-shower-facilities-shower-trailers/
Image from: http://temporarykitchens1-2-3.com/products/disaster-modular/mobile-shower-facilities-shower-trailers/
Overall, I think camping is a very fun thing to do and I’d definitely do it again the next time I visit Coachella! It definitely gave colors to my whole Coachella experience and I’d recommend you to give it a try if you’re thinking of going.

Will write more about the festival itself, meanwhile here’s a picture of (probably 1/4) the car camping area taken from top of the ferris wheel… Ohhh how I wish those days could come back once more!

Car Camping area
Car Camping area

The day one of my dreams came true

Back in high school, I had a dream in becoming a magazine journalist. You see I have been a big fan of magazines since good ol’ BOBO days. As I grew up, Kawanku, Gadis, (even Hai) were my good friends. It’s only normal when I had this aspiration to become a magazine journalist. Then dreams changed, priorities changed. I no longer want to become one. But obviously, my love for writing hasn’t faded and I still wish that my name will be printed on a magazine someday, somehow.

Months ago before I went to the US I suddenly had the idea to approach some magazines and offer to write about Coachella, but I did not know how. I asked my friend C – who work in a publishing group, she told me how and I finally had a deal with CLEO Indonesia magazine. Yayyy! Long story short, the trip happened, Coachella happened, and just yesterday – almost a month after I came back from the US… their June edition was out!

CLEO Indonesia - June Edition
CLEO Indonesia – June Edition

Let me tell you how I felt when opening the page and saw my name written there. My brother was there with me – we were in a bookstore. I felt sooooooo excited and happy!!! Like I-CANT-BELIEVE-THIS-IS-HAPPENING happy! My brother was excited for me too! We hugged each other and almost jumped around in that bookstore hahahaha (lucky the magazine section was rather empty :p).

I know it probably does not mean much to some of you, but it means a lot to me. Who would’ve thought – years after I first had the dream, I am finally able to make it a reality! So here’s to a dream come true and I do hope that yours will come true as well. Never stop dreaming! 🙂

I’m listening to: Hozier

Hozier – an Irish singer/songwriter is one of the artists that will perform on Coachella. Since I am going (YAY!), I’ve been doing some research on the artists that will perform on the 3 days weekend festival.

To be honest all I knew about Hozier prior to my research was “Take Me To Church” song, which I am indifferent about. I think it’s just alright, but it’s been overly played on the radio. Now if you saw this year’s Grammy, there’s a big chance that you are familiar with this particular performance:

The performance has been widely discussed since it involves THE Annie Lennox! I thought her performance is stellar but since I don’t really like the song… it’s not my favorite performance of the Grammys. This performance is (because I got chills watching it!):

Anyway, back to Hozier. Last weekend I decided to do more research about his songs. I was rather surprised when I heard his other songs, which I think are different than “Take Me to Church”.

Let’s have a listen to this one, called “To be Alone”.

The song started with minimal sounds of guitar and drums. Well, the song is minimal in a way, but as it is powered with his soulful singing, it has a very soulful and bluesy (is that even a word?) feeling. The lyrics uses simple words, nothing too fancy, but crafted beautifully.

And now my favorite song so far, called “Cherry Wine”.

This is a sad song, actually. I’m not sure if it’s about an abusive relationship or about one-sided love. But the song is beautiful! I can imagine a slow dance happening to the melody 🙂

To sum up my research, I fell in love with Hozier’s other songs and his voice is JUST AMAZING. Definitely going to see him on Coachella! He’s playing Saturday though, hopefully not at the same time with Belle and Sebastian.. 😀

Counting Days!

I’m super excited to tell you that it’s 93 more days until I’m scheduled to meet my boyfriend! Yaaayyyy! Hehe pardon the excitement because the last time I saw him was ages ago, back in September 2013. 😐

Anyway, I actually have bought the plane ticket and got my leave at work approved since last year but I haven’t really thought about it and haven’t really started to count days because well.. it was still 2014. But since 2015 is here now, no harm in counting days, right? 😉

In addition to meeting the boyfriend and his family, I’m also super excited because I’ll be going to Coachella festival during my trip to California!!! Yes you read it right, Coachella!!! Me, my boyfriend and a group of his friends will be going to weekend two… It has been in my bucket list + my 30 before 30 list to attend (and camp) in a music festival and hopefully everything will be so smooth that I’d get to cross that off my list this April. If you’re interested, here’s a line up poster of the event which was announced yesterday:

Coachella 2015
Image from: http://www.coachella.com/poster-iframe/

What do you think about the line up? To me, other names on the poster suddenly become not so important anymore once I read “Belle and Sebastian” on it. They are my favorite band everr and I thought I lost the chance of watching them live once I missed their show when I was in England back in 2010. Who would’ve thought that they’ll be playing Coachella right at the very year I’m going?! SUPER HAPPY! But anyway, I’d also love to see other performances, plus, we’ll be camping!! Wooohooo! super excited. The boyfriend, on the other hand, really wished for Kendrick Lamar (his current favorite rapper) to play Coachella but I guess he’s not lucky yet. Hehe, next time 😉

Anyway, I can’t wait for the weekend to come and start planning my trip. Browsing for things to do, planning my Coachella trip.. 😀 meanwhile, I’ve been playing Coachella’s Official Spotify Playlist at work and during my commute. Just have to make myself familiarised with the artists!

To end this post, here’s a song by Belle and Sebastian called Funny Little Frog. Have a listen and let me know if you liked it as much as I do! 🙂