Friday, November 27, 2015

Taylor's two truths and one lie

One day at her school, Taylor and her friends played two truths and one lie game. So they had to state three statements and the others guessed which one was the lie. She stated:

1) I can play hockey
2) I can play football
3) I have a sister

Ninis: "What did your friends guess?"
Taylor: "I have a sister"
Ninis: "But you have a sister"

this morning's skype session. I love you, too, TT :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Beppu tour! #QB1

It's quarter break you guys! A week of day-off after a month and a half of Nihon-go lesson. My goal this quarter break is to fill up one page of my Onsen Spaport. Since I came to Japan, I've found my love of Onsen. It is a traditional Japanese hot spring, where people bath together. Naked. And before you get too excited (or scared), most of Onsen are segregated by gender. Although there are some exceptions to some Onsen that have mixed baths. I've begun my Onsen journey with Ofuro at AP House (my dorm). Ofuro is like a big tub of hot water and people bathe together. The difference between ofuro and onsen is that ofuro uses same water as the one in the shower while onsen uses natural hot spring water, which is more awesome.

Beppu, the city where I live in right now, is famous for its onsen and the second biggest source of hot spring in the world according to How can I not fall in love with onsen in this onsen town?

So my goal for university life is to be an onsen master (which is a thing here in Beppu). To become an onsen master, you have to buy an onsen passport (or Onsen Spaport, Japanese style) and get a stamp from 88 different onsen out of 2000 onsen in Beppu.

So that's why yesterday, I went to explore Beppu with the girls with the main goal of, the one and only, onsen.

We began the day early (or so we planned). We were supposed to be ready by 8 and caught the Kamenoi bus, BUT because we stayed up late until 3 in the morning and I have a hard time waking up when my sleep is less than 6 hours, we left at 10. (To be clear, only Nadya and I who woke up late. Thu and Yun are zombies, they had even COOKED and ready when they woke me up).

Our goal was to explore Beppu along Kamenoi route with our all-day 700円 bus ticket. Our first destination was Myoban, a very famous attraction for Korean tourists. Apparently this place is not that high on top of Beppu advertisements which I wonder why since this place in super pretty. There are onsen huts and huts where they produce sulphuric salts. It is basically a place full of huts. A very beautiful place nestled in mountainside.  We can enjoy eggs cooked with natural hot water and outdoor onsen overlook the nature. I didn't try the onsen though, but it looks so pretty. Maybe I'll go some time this week.

After Myoban, we took the bus to Umi Jigoku (literally translates as Sea Hell). It is one of the top list of Beppu tourist attractions. It's a series of very high temperature hot springs that they have different colors, range from blue, green to red. The entrance to each Hell is 400円 and you can also purchase tickets to enter all Hells for 2100円. We only strolled around the area and didn't purchase any ticket. We'd rather pay to go to onsen than to sightseeing hot springs (broke college student wants some luxury in the form of onsen haha).

Umi Jigoku is located in an old part of Beppu called Kannawa, another onsen district. We tried the free foot bath which is very relaxing after a long walk. By the time we were finished, Yun was throwing a tantrum because she hadn't been fed for too long (just kidding, not a tantrum. She just has a temper when she is hungry), so we opened our bento (lunchbox) in the area.

We took the bus again and that time, we didn't have any destination in mind (well, we wanted to go to the beach but we didn't know which bus that bound for it so we just took whatever bus that passed). We ended up strolling around Beppu station eating ice cream and (again) exploring the area. We found out there is a cinema in Beppu! A very small cinema that only has old movies, but hey, who knows what can we find there. I'm planning to find out soon.

After that we went to our main destination, ONSEN! Yay! We went to Onsen Hoyoland, the only onsen that has natural mud bath due to its high sulphuric concentration. It was super good, to say the least. The mud makes your skin feel so smooth and can get rid of acne. We were later talking about how obaasan (grandma) skins are soooo smooth probably because they go to onsen often and Nadya actually planning to go to Hoyoland once a month HAHA. I got a new stamp for my passport too!! Yay!! Two down, 86 to go :D

Since we had all-day bus pass and it was still 6 pm, we want to use the best of it and decided to have dinner at YouMe Town, the biggest mall in Beppu. I shared a huge okonomiyaki with Yun, whose appetite is like no other, so she ended up buying donuts afterward.

Aaaaaand when we got to the bus stop in front of YouMe Town, there isn't any direct Kamenoi bus to APU from there. So we walked to Tokiwa through a deserted street instead of the main one, and found out it was a red light district. Yup. Nadya and Yun was freaking out but hey, we were exploring right?

Long story short, we missed the last bus to APU and ended up in an unknown area back in Kannawa. Yun was freaking out because we were lost and I enjoyed every second of it (the lost part, not the freaking-out-Yun part). We discovered a free onsen!! OMG, I didn't know there is such a thing as a free onsen. Although we have to check it out how is the condition.

Finally we got to APU at about 10.30 pm. It was SO tiring but fun!! Got the chance to explore this city is always a pleasure :)

(extra story) Today's highlight: my sensei and his family came to the campus and I got the chance to meet his baby!! So kawaii!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

日本語 class!

I can say that my 日本語 Foundation is unarguably the best Japanese foundation class out there. It's not only about my classmates that make 14 hours per week of Japanese lesson bearable, but also we got the best sensei anyone could ask for! 

Like seriously, I don't think the whole class would be this fun for everybody if Ooike Sensei wasn't our teacher. He can make 4,5 hours of Japanese each day passes like a breeze (not exactly, but you get what I mean). The whole class are friends with each other, and that's the point of being classmates. We joke around and make the crazy kanji and grammar lesson turn into a way to tease around and have fun. 

Yesterday was Sensei's birthday and we threw a little surprise party for him. I love the little things we did that actually meant a lot, like planning what would we do, went to Beppu Wan together to get his cake, prepared the balloons and other details.

Lucky I got this class to begin my journey of learning Japanese language. It is hard, but at least with them, I can smile and laugh despite all the hardships :)

trip to Beppu Wan

Minh's snapchat. We all know he loves us.

best sensei ever

#tb Indonesian senior year part 1

Found all these pictures accidentally. Looking back at the bigger picture, I know I have a very fulfilling high school life, from the beginning through the end. Miss all the elements that colored my last year in high school. Precious fragments in my life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lesson #1

"The many lessons of lessness. The lessening from which growing could begin."

Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence

Sunday, November 1, 2015

19 years young

Sometimes it's hard to remember your goal when the road leading to it has a good view. It's so easy to stray off the main road and look around, pay a visit here and there. Especially when you have the ones that have become your comfort zone. Along the way, your perspectives change. Your goal is not the same anymore. Your outlook on things shifted as you grow up during the voyage. The love you had before is not the same love you have now. Your knowledge broaden and stretches, demanding you to question things that used to matter a lot before. I've learned that compare and contrast are only useful for essays. That I can learn a lot from negative thinking people, since they show me what kind of person I don't want myself to become. That there is a limit in trying to bond with someone and you have to realise that the chemistry is simply non-existent. That there are millions of people in this world and you have the ability to choose who you want to stay and spend the rest of the voyage with.

I chose to share my voyage with her simply because her aura of positiveness and joy gets me every time. You can't imagine the energy we gather when we are together. It's able to power one village and light hanabi on a spring night. 

I wish you an eternal happiness and harmony that shall stay inside you through everything. Your dreams are the dreams that fuel my dreams. I'm so proud of you and the process you've been through to become a person you are now. I hope 19 treats you well, and welcome to the last year of your teenage life! 


You know you are super lucky when your inspiration had set aside a special day to come all the way from her city to yours just to see you. 

And I have every right to brag about because Nia did just that last Friday! I know!

Nia is the daugher of my mom's BFF since middle school. So they have been friends for... What? 35 years? Anyway, we met for the first time five years ago at her house in Hang Tuah, Senayan. My mom wanted me and my sister to get to know Tante Wida and Nia. I had a hard time comprehending Nia at that first meeting so she wrote what she wanted to say on a piece of paper. I can't recall if she understood what I said, but from my memory, our conversation was done with mostly me talking and her writing. Albeit the barrier between us, since that day, she is officially my muse. My inspiration.

Since then we are connected through social medias. We hadn't got the chance to meet since that first meeting though. Oh, we made a lot of plans, alright. Even I promised one day to give myself the privilege to visit her at one of her advocate activities. Nope, there was always something going on and it was definitely my loss.

When I was in the USA, I saw pictures of her in London. Then I found out that she was there through her advocate organisation. Could you imagine how proud I was to see her and all the people she met there??? I remembered at one of her pictures, she was there at the stage in front of a forum, looking so professional. And I was simply awed by what she did.

Then we chatted some time last July and I told her I'm going to Japan for college and how I wish we could meet before I go. Then about a month later she came to my city and I only knew that because I saw pictures that she uploaded. Could you believe how bothered I was? We could've met if I was informed in advance!

Last week though, she messaged me saying that she was going to Depok. To see me. Just because it was my last week in Indonesia, she wanted to come so we could reconnect. The bottom line is to connect in real life, because there is a world difference between talking in chatting platform and in real life. Or so I thought.

We connected right away! There was no communication barrier, it was like somehow I've been talking with her in real life for a long time. She said it herself that not many people understood her at first meeting (it was considered our first meeting). What I think is, she speaks clearly despite her enunciation. I could get everything she said, except for hard words such as long English words.

She taught me Indonesian sign language which surprisingly is easy enough to use and implement in daily life. I love how passionate she is about her advocating activities! She made me interested in her world in just a span of minutes.

Did  I tell you that she has disability of hearing? And yep, her disability doesn't stop her to achieve her dreams and whatever she wants to be. She just graduated from her university this past month! So proud of you, Nia. I hope you'd come to Japan sooner so we could explore together!

our first meeting all those years ago