Saturday, February 4, 2017

In the middle of my sophomore year

It is my last weekend here in Beppu before I head back to Indonesia for the whole Spring Break. I have been doing countdown to the day I go home since it was still 100 days away, since I booked my ticket in November. The thing is, I haven't been home for a year since spring break last year and I miss my boyfriend everything. 

This past semester has been such a blessing for me. Well, I take that back, my whole college life has been such a blessing. I feel like I grow a lot during my time here in Japan. Especially this semester when my Japanese ability enables me to fully function in the society and getting money by not washing dishes in restaurant

Living here in Japan this one and a half year, studying, learning and working have given me a sense of responsibility and freedom. I have been paying bills by myself now, not that it is something new here since I live with two workaholic roommates who always work when they don't have school. I have been so lucky to be able to juggle everything and still enjoy every seconds to the most. This college life trains me to rely on myself as well as trusting other people. To love life even more than I already do and celebrate every twists and turns. 

The only problem is that somehow I don't have any urge to write anymore. It seems like years and years of blogging and journaling are behind me. Why is that, I don't know either. There is always something going on, and if I have some break, I would rather use it to do something else other than write. Cook, do laundry, call people, take care of this and that. I don't think it will change anytime soon :( It will take a looong time until I post something again.

Anyway. Have a good life people.


Friday, October 7, 2016

The summer after freshman year

I'd be lying if I said I didn't dread about summer break three months ago. Just read a post in June, in the middle of all classes saying I was tired and needed to go home while I knew of the fact that I wouldn't go home until next year. I was afraid I wouldn't do anything during the two months break and ended up homesick, longing for home. I should've had more faith in myself. This summer turns out to be the best thing a break could happened to me and I'm forever grateful about how things unfolded.

I started my summer with teaching English in Himeshima, a tiny, remote island in northern Kyushu for a week. Everyday I biked my way around the island; breakfast at 8, going to Himeshima Middle School at 9, lunch at 12, back to the school til evening, dinner at 6, then free time. Every-single-day. I assured you, the food was something to remember. I'm not talking about regular sushi or udon, but full-set of Japanese food in every single meal. Me being myself, I can't take much in one time, so I tried to save it in my bento box for later if I get hungry again. Nope, didn't work like that. I never felt hungry during my stay there, always being fed with lots and lots of seafood, veggies, miso soup...

Not only the food that I missed, but also the students whom I taught. My fond memory about them is our BBQ party, grilling all the meat in the school yard and spending time together. We went to the beach and swam, as well, cause who wouldn't use the opportunity to swim everyday while in Himeshima??? Ah, the memory. I can still feel the morning sunlight kissing my skin while biked along the harbor.

Right after Himeshima ended, I went straight to Fukuoka airport and flew to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to do volunteering in teaching English in a small city called Vinh Long, about 2 hours drive from the capital city. One of the best investment I have done in my life. Investment to myself as a person, investment at my Vietnamese family whom I gained over the course of 2 weeks I spent in Vietnam, lifetime friendship and new grown love to children there.

I remember the day when we left after 9 days of teaching English in a local elementary school and living together in a house with other volunteers in Vinh Long. We were bawling our eyes out, crying so hard with the children that live nearby, who always visited us during our camp. It was so hard to leave, it felt like it was my home... Even though I couldn't understand what the children were saying whatsoever. They couldn't speak English and I certainly cannot speak Vietnamese. Despite the high communication barrier, we connected somehow. The miracle that always leave me baffled. Along the way, they have touched my heart and I'm forever thankful for the chances.

After we left Vung Tau, we stayed in Ho Chi Minh City for a few days, touring the city and had exchange with local university students. 

Anh Quanggg

Midnight food hunt in Saigon

In downtown Saigon

With Yunnn

After Vinh Long, I visited Yun's family in Vung Tau. Yun and I share an apartment in Beppu with Nadya. I stayed in Yun's house for 5 days. SOOOOO HAPPY to meet Yun's parent!!! The first day I was there, Yun's mom told me she is adopting me hahahhaa. After that she always refer to me as her 'lovely daughter'

With Ba

After we cut our hair!

mẹ ❤


she understands my love for seafood❤

After Vietnam, I went back to Beppu and still had about 4 days until leaving to teach English in another island. So the next day I arrived Beppu, I tried my luck to do my first real part-time job. It was in Nadya's baito place, a hotel called Ryotiku. The hotel is small, family business one. They needed baito people so bad, they didn't even interviewed me. I went straight to work the morning after I got back from Vietnam.

I worked there for four days before I left for Kyoto. One thing I learned from that experience: labor work is not for me. All my respect goes to people like Nadya and Yun who work in kitchen in hotels or restaurants. I just....... Can't stand washing dishes, serving snacks, or cleaning tables for 6 hours everyday. In my head every morning I worked, I imagined the brain inside my head started to shut down and I turned into a robot with only my hands moved. Now, it's not as bad as what I've been describing here for sure. Every person is different. Yun and Nadya loves working in the kitchen in Suginoi Hotel much because they love their coworkers. Labor work is simply just not for me. 

first day of hotel work with Nadya

Most probably because I have known there is another job I love and fit me well: teaching English. 

So then after 4 days working in the hotel, I took off to Kyoto to teach in Ritsumeikan Primary School for 10 days and love every single second of it. I love my class, 2nd Grade R kumi. I love dinner trip after work everyday with other APU students that are TAs as well. I LOVE my host family. I have a new family in Osaka, whom I call Okaasan, Otousan and my imoto, Sakurako. 

And the highlight of my Kyoto trip, the one who shows me nothing is impossible as long as we believe, the one whom I will be forever grateful to enter my life and gives me reasons, the one who challenges me and supports me at the same time. The same one whom I'm forever thankful of to God. He loves us so much He gave us a chance to meet in the middle of our long-term long distance relationship.

He got a scholarship to do exchange program in Japan for a week. Out of all places in Japan, he got the team that stays in Kansai area. And out of all time and plans, I was in Kansai at the same time with him because of my work. If I was in any other place, say Vietnam or Himeshima, working, we wouldn't have met. God's plan is precise and I'm forever thankful.

Went back to Beppu after teaching in Kyoto and went straight to work in Ryotiku again. Not for long though. I was working there for 2 days before decided to quit. Then I was jobless for a while. Not for long, though. Soon after that, with my experiences in the summer teaching English here and there, I got an offer to teach long term in a small English school in Oita owns by a British man and his wife, a Japanese woman.

Since then, I got LOTS of offer to teach English. Maybe because I can communicate in Japanese now so I can navigate my way around when looking for job. 

Summer break is a blessing for me. Wouldn't change anything for the world

Thursday, July 21, 2016

a small gesture to notice

This is probably the longest break I've taken from blogging since I started to blog six years ago. Two months straight without any stories! Haha. Even the last post was just the lyric of my favorite song posted in between quarrel and thirsty heart.

Exam week has been going on right now, strong and its current been trying to drown me inside. I hope I can keep afloat til the end. There are no other way than surviving this anyway. I just had a test this morning, doesn't have much impact to my grades but it measures my ability so it's important anyway. Let's just say it was a total zonk, I mean TOTALLY zonk. I couldn't even feel bad about it, just laughed at how zonked it was. Perhaps with that zonk score, I've restored my ability to laugh at life with its twists and turns. Lately I've been so wrung up I couldn't laugh at myself. I couldn't even brought myself to blog or write on my journal.

With a distracted mind, I went to my dorm to nap, totally forgot that I was supposed to meet someone in the library. After that was taken care of, I had an uneasy nap for 20 minutes and headed back to the campus.

This is when I knew I've been doing no good of thinking about my score. I was waiting for the elevator with a guy, my guess he is a Spring semester student so he got here last April. He seemed to be in a hurry, with a piece of paper dangled on his hands and distracted eyes zoned out while waiting. When the elevator opened, I walked in with him, but he suddenly push the button to keep the elevator open. My face was like, 'what?'. We were waiting for a good 30 seconds before I knew he kept it opened for someone who was walking toward the elevator.

That moment shook me awake from my cloudy head. How is that test going to affect me in 10, 15 years? I did it myself, I stayed true to myself. Why I keep forgetting the value my parents raised me with? The only thing that matters is the process, as long as you learn and keep learning.

Why would a piece of test be your whole world but you can't keep up with your manner and with the world around you? Remember when you were so upset when someone you acquainted with closed the elevator RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE, only him using the elevator and you knew he knew you were walking toward the elevator but closed it anyway.

I was touched by how this Spring guy even KNEW somebody 30 seconds away from us was walking toward us. I didn't pay attention to that cause I was too busy thinking about that screwed-up test.

Small gesture that woke up my fibers. Remind me to be in tune with my surrounding, with the Universe, with Mother Nature that has been blessing me with kismet and karma. With life's ups and downs and other people' ups and downs.

Peace in, peace out, people.

Monday, May 16, 2016

小幸運 -田馥甄

我聽見雨滴 落在青青草地
我聽見遠方 下課鐘聲響起
可是我沒有聽見你的聲音 認真呼喚我姓名

愛上你的時候 還不懂感情
離別了 才覺得刻骨銘心
為什麼沒有發現 遇見了你 是生命最好的事情


忙著微笑和哭泣 忙著追逐天空中的流星
是誰風裡 雨裡 一直默默守護在原地

原來你是 我最想留住的幸運

原來我們 和愛情曾經靠得那麼近
那為我對抗世界的決定 那陪我淋的雨
一幕幕都是你 一塵不染的真心

與你相遇 好幸運
可我已失去 為你淚流滿面的權利
但願在我看不到的天際 你張開了雙翼

遇見你的注定 她會有多幸運
來不及感謝 是你給我勇氣 讓我能做回我自己

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

tentang kamu

Di antara tatapan mata dan tautan tangan, kita berjalan mengarah matahari. Kamu yang bersuara sedalam jelaga matamu, yang menapak hati-hati di antara bebatuan sungai, mengingatkan tentang nilai-nilai bersahaja yang mungkin adalah jembatan antara kita. Kamu wujud kerja keras yang sederhana. 

Di antara kesederhaan itu, kita berdiri di bawah jeram air terjun yang tajam dan menyakitkan. Tapi apalah arti sakit sekarang jika mimpi-mimpi kita di depan sana, yang selalu kita bicarakan dengan harapan Semesta mendengar dan mengaminkan, terlalu berharga untuk dibunuh semata-mata karena rasa rindu.

Di antara kerinduan itu, selalu terselip fragmen-fragmen kecil kenangan yang menenangkan. Bunyi tapak kaki kita menuruni ratusan anak tangga menuju Tiu Kelep. Sejuknya Senaru di bawah rintik hujan. Kereta yang hampir kosong di Kamis siang menuju Cianjur. Kokohnya lenganmu melingkari pinggang mengangkatku turun dari ayunan licin di Gili Trawangan. Wajah tak percaya saat aku muncul tiba-tiba di depanmu setelah lima bulan terpisah dua negara… 

Mas Gandhi yang baik hati, selamat ulang tahun. Selamat menikmati kepusingan membagi skala prioritas, selamat bermimpi, selamat menjalani awalan mimpi-mimpi besarmu. Selamat berpahit-pahit sekarang untuk yang manis-manis kemudian. Semoga kamu selalu di jaga Tuhan dimanapun kamu berada dan apapun yang kamu lakukan sekarang. Sampai jumpa di pertemuan kita berikutnya.

Friday, April 22, 2016

in the middle of an earthquake

It has been a week full of earthquakes here in Beppu, Oita. The biggest earthquake happened last week on Saturday, resulting in students fleeing to their hometowns the next day and APU cancelling school for a week. Don't know if I should be happy cause I have the time to finish all these homeworks and tasks in peace, or I should cringe at all make-up classes on Saturday. Either way, I'm thankful that now I'm safe and sound here in my lovely dorm, AP House. Able to do basic human things; breathing, eating, sleeping. Which are what I've been doing this past week (other than doing homework and spending my money on a nabehodai last Wednesday which makes me don't wanna go downtown at least in two weeks)

School hasn't even been on a full swing after spring break, only a week of school and then we have another full week of break! God is good!

Although my local exchange trip to Hiji town is cancelled... They move it to June 5th. Hope everything will go as planned this time onward. I'm really looking forward to make and eat fancy sushi!

And now, people, here I am, still jobless and still looking for a part time job. I had an interview with a hotel two weeks ago and I had a position already! They said they were going to call me the next Wednesday, which they did not. I called them on Thursday asking why, and they told me to wait further. Ok.. I was waiting... Then on Saturday the biggest earthquake in Japan after Fukushima tsunami in 2011 happened in Kumamoto, which is only one hour away from where I live. Resulting in only 300 guests left in the hotel that supposed to accommodate over 3000 guests. That also makes Nadya and Yun who work in one of the restaurants there temporarily on a break... Because apparently they don't need a lot of restaurants open with only 300 guests left. WHICH makes me even more pessimistic they would hire me anytime soon... And that is a bad news, I told ya. I need to earn money soon for all my summer plans.

Anyhow, I'm here, safe and sound, and truly thankful for all the circumstances happening right now in my life. And for loved ones who makes this life of mine meaningful. And for my readers who are curious enough about what is happening in my life right now.

I love you, nonetheless. Have a good life, peeps! Ciao!