Since I was an elementary school student, I loved to read very much. I visited several bookstores regularly. My favorite bookstore was Toko Buku Jawa (Jawa bookstore) at Braga Street where I could browse and buy some books. Maybe it's because the bookstore location is near my school at Merdeka Street and also around the corner of my parents offices. Back then, I'd love to read Herge's The Adventures of Tintin, The Adventures of Asterix (by Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo), Tanguy & Laverdure (by Jean-Michel Charlier & Albert Uderzo) , and Michel Vaillant (by Jean Graton). It seemed that colored comic books are more interesting to me.
Maybe it was a coincidence that the original version of those books was in French language. And the story settings was France, except Tintin's location setting was Belgium. So at that time, I became acquainted with city names, landmarks, and maps of France and surroundings.
After reading, I used to daydream about those places... what would it be like to go there and experience the adventure of traveling abroad... :-P
When I went to college, I started to have a passion about being able to speak French. But I haven't had a chance to register myself to a French language course because a lot of circumstances (lack of time & money to be precise). But then I managed to get busy learning French after I graduated from college and started to earn my own money by doing several research projects with my professors. The language was quite complicated in writing and pronouncing.. but that didn't stop me from learning.
But still I have never imagined that someday I would be able to travel abroad until I worked on a national transportation survey project at Ministry of Communication and Transportation at 1995. It was a big project and at the end of the project we (me and the whole working team) were given a bonus, not an amount of money but a traveling package... yaay...!!
So, the next year (February 1996) I went to Gold Coast, Australia. Waaaw the first time going abroad made us quite nervous.. but we were having a good time.
The next year, we got the 2nd phase of the project, also at Ministry of Communication and Transportation. So we were beginning to wonder if we could get another bonus at the end of the project. And we were lucky to be able to bargain for it, and we decided that we want to explore Europe this time.....
So, this was August 1997, and I finally stepped on the romantic land, PARIS....
The Eiffel Tower is a must to visit and photograph, off course. Unfortunately at that time we were still using a conventional camera with negative films. Oh yeah, we were worried about the result of the photographs we took, is it in a proper lighting, did we pose our best smile.. etc. Not the same as the instant result of digital camera nowadays.
The adventures that we've been through that time could take hundreds of pages... The time was too short to explore the countries; France, Swiss, Germany, and Netherlands. But all I can say now that the memories still remain...
So, back to my other passion, the cross stitch, those memories caused a side effect to my preference on the cross stitch design. I always love to see all those designs about the Eiffel Tower. Feels like I want to express the memories which stored in my mind. And I can't help to love these designs.
This Maria Diaz design was from The World of Cross Stitching
This one was designed by Karen Brittan and published on Cross Stitch Crazy
And this is another Maria Diaz design, Sunset Over Paris, on Cross Stitch Gold