Friday, November 30, 2012

Wajar Saja

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

Om saya pernah bercerita tentang teman beliau yang dulu disekolahkan oleh pemerintah Indonesia ke Jerman. Sebut saja Pak X. Pak X dibiayai oleh pemerintah untuk bersekolah di Jerman, dengan jurusan teknik sayap pesawat. Setelah menyelesaikan studinya di Jerman dengan cemerlang, Pak X pun kembali ke Indonesia dengan harapan bisa membangun negerinya melalui ilmu yang sudah beliau dapatkan selama bersekolah di luar negeri. Ilmu yang sangat bermanfaat karena bisa menyokong industri pesawat terbang di Indonesia. Bisa jadi ilmu tersebut dapat memperbaiki produksi pesawat terbang lokal, sehingga Indonesia tidak perlu lagi mengimpor pesawat dari luar negeri. Akan tetapi, setelah menyelesaikan studi dan kembali ke Indonesia serta diterima untuk bekerja di badan usaha pesawat terbang negara, beliau justru diberi sebuah ruang kantor; berisi meja dan kursi. Mungkin beliau diminta mengerjakan masalah administrasi (?) karena dianggap karyawan baru (?).Tidak ada laboratorium. Tidak ada fasilitas untuk mengaplikasikan ilmu beliau. Beliau berusaha bertahan, tetapi tidak lama, tawaran bekerja pun muncul dari universitas ketika beliau bersekolah di Jerman. Tawaran pekerjaan yang berkaitan dengan studinya dan memiliki prospek bagus sekali. Hingga sekarang, beliau telah menjadi sukses dan menetap di Jerman. Sayang sekali.

Saya memiliki seorang senior di universitas saya di Jepang saat ini. Beliau berasal dari keluarga yang tidak mampu, akan tetapi beliau memiliki otak yang sangat cemerlang sehingga dapat memenangkan olimpiade fisika internasional. Ketika memenangkan olimpiade tersebut, beliau diundang ke istana Presiden di Indonesia dan Pak Presiden menjanjikan bahwa negara akan membiayainya besekolah di universitas manapun yang Ia inginkan di negara manapun yang Ia mau. Akan tetapi, hal tersebut tidak terealisasi. Ketika itu, Ia mendaftar di salah satu Institut Teknologi yang paling terkenal di Indonesia, di Bandung. Beliau lolos seleksi, tapi tidak mendaftar ulang karena tidak punya biaya yang cukup. Menyedihkan. Seorang juara olimpiade fisika internasional yang jelas memiliki potensi yang sangat besar malah disia-siakan begitu saja hanya karena masalah uang. Akhirnya Ia pun mendaftar beasiswa Monbukagakusho ke Jepang dan diterima. Hingga kini Ia telah bersekolah di Jepang selama kurang-lebih empat tahun. Ia berencana melanjutkan S2 dan S3 di Jepang atau di negara lain. Dan, tahu apa cita-cita beliau sekarang? Menjadi professor (sensei) di universitas dimana Ia berada sekarang (di Jepang) karena Ia merasa berterima kasih dan mencintai universitas tersebut. Sayang sekali.

Mungkin dua orang di atas hanya sebagian kecil dari orang-orang potensial lainnya yang tidak dihargai oleh negaranya sendiri. Kalau menurut saya, hal itu terjadi bukan karena mereka tidak cinta negara. Toh, salah satu dari mereka sudah pernah berusaha mengembangkan Indonesia. Mungkin saja, mereka lelah dan bosan berjuang sendirian. Seolah-olah mereka yang membutuhkan Indonesia. Padahal menurut saya, Indonesia yang butuh mereka. Jadi wajar saja kalau mereka 'minggat' ke negara lain. Miris sekali rasanya. Ya Allah, semoga orang-orang yang ada di pemerintahan saat ini bisa melakukan perubahan menuju perbaikan. Amiin.

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do Not Read This

Basically these are just several unimportant sentences that came up on my mind since I came to Japan.
However, I don't feel like posting them on Twitter nor Facebook although these might be suitable for those social sites. I'm just not that kind of person.

"That moment when you're so used to drinking tap water that when you're doing wudhu with tap water it feels like you're having wudhu with water for drinking."

"That moment when it's extremely cold that you want to take a shower only because the shower's water temprature could reach up to 40c or more."

"That monent when you slow down your bike even on flat roads not because you're tired but because it's freaking cold that you can not even bear the wind."

"Betapapun sebuah tulisan atau status atau tweet memiliki makna yang sangat baik dan bermanfaat, kalau disertai dengan kata-kata kasar, meski tujuannya for emphasizing things, bagi saya nilainya sangat buruk."

"Meski saya sangat percaya diri bahwa selama di Jepang harus menikmati masakan Jepang, cita rasa makanan Indonesia terlalu kuat untuk tidak dirindukan."

"That moment when bakwan jadi rebutan."

That's all. Thank you for the attention. So informative, eh?
If you feel like you just waste several minutes in your life for reading this, do not blame me, I've warned you before.

Goodnight :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I've Been Doing After The Yosakoi Festival Long... Long Ago

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

These are what I've been doing after the Yosakoi Festival post I wrote a long time ago, haha :P

October 11th, 2012. I went to a small mochi store near my dorm. I was with Charlie and Mariko :D We ate several kind of mochi (red bean, shoyu, and sesame) and got a free Sendai-special zunda mochi! It was fun :)

October 14th, 2012. Zuihoden! It was one of several tourism spots in Sendai. Zuihoden is the place of Masamune Date's Mausoleum. I went with Intan, Mariko, Mio-san, Bin, and Hong. It was fun :) I even had a chance to hold a Japanese traditional instrument and watch the show! It was a special event held only on that day. Cool :')

October 25th, 2012. The day was first begun with Shalat Ied at Sendai Mosque. It was Idul Adha. Eid Mubarak! Hehe. At night, IPLA students were to celebrate our first monthversarry! We went to eat ramen (No, don't get me wrong. I ate yakisoba since ramens are all not-halal, haha). Afterwards, we went to a high building to see Sendai city at night! :)

October 27th, 2012. I, Eka, and Fuad went downtown to find something interesting and we ended up eating soba at this gorgeous restaurant which had been visited by members of Rakuten Eagles and has this cool ticket machine for buying food! Haha bear with me, I haven't seen that kind of thing before.

October 28th, 2012. My first time being a model! Well, it wasn't on a runway, but I might have this occupation in the future :P Nah, joking. I had a chance to be one of Indonesian representative to model at Tohoku University International Festival. Such an amazing experience :)

November 3rd ~ 5th, 2012. Tohoku University held a University Festival or Daigakusai. It was so fun. Besides the existence of various mainly-food-stalls outside, the classes were also decorated by university's clubs and circles. Several of them created cafes, haunted houses, or even turned a big class to a beautiful piano stage :) Indonesian students were also selling yaki bananas at that time (Pisang keju alias pisang bakar, haha), it was quite successful, I might say, since it was our first time participating in Tohoku University Festival :D

November 4th, 2012. Sorry for not putting this in a correct time-order. But I want to separate this one from the Daigakusai :) That was time for.. Chinese Hotpot Party! :D The soup was totally spicy, but the food was so delicious! :9 Charlie held this event and he used all Halal meats for this party so that I could eat the meats :') so considerate. Thankyou Allah for giving me a friend like him, hehe. The chicken soup, tea-egg, and hotpot were uber delicious! :'D

November 10th, 2012. Yes, I know, my schedule was pretty intense :P This time, my high school friend Al (who's currently being an exchange student to Tokyo Institute of Technology) came to Sendai :) We went to Matsushima together. Matsushima is known for its beautiful scenery. One of the top three best scenery in Japan. We went on a boat and had a chance to feed seagulls which came along with the boat for the whole trip (amazing!) and we went to see the Light-Up Illumination event at Entsuin Temple. It. Was. Amazingly. Beautiful. One of the best views I have ever seen in my whole life. There were several trees near a pond (see the third picture) which was enlighten by several bulbs and the reflection can be seen on the pond. The reflection was so clear that you could have imagined that there was another world inside the pond! Amazing. Enough said. Subhanallah.

November 11th, 2012. Second day of Al's short trip to Sendai. I got to bring him to Zuihoden and Aoba Castle which I had never been before. Zuihoden was still the same, minus the musical show. Aoba castle was  nice, we could see a beautiful scenery of Sendai from up the hill. It was beautiful. My friend even said that it was the most romantic place she has ever been in Sendai. After a long-and-quite-tiring trip from Dorm-Zuihoden-Aoba Castle-Sendai National Museum of Art-Tohoku University, we went to the city and saw this beautiful arcade decoration at Velondrome :) What a great way to call it 'a day'.

November 17th, 2012. IPLA went to Hiraizumi! It was a place in Iwate Perfecture where we can see temples and great view of Momiji (when leaves on the trees are turning red). I had to go with my tutor but unfortunately she couldn't come so I was accompanied by the one and only Taiki :D We had so much fun, great pictures were taken. Such a wonderful memory since the autumn colors are indeed so bright and beautiful :D

November 18th, 2012. Yes, only a day after Hiraizumi Trip, some of us in Japanese Culture 2 Class got a chance to experience Japanese Traditional Tea Ceremony and got to write our own Japanese calligraphy. The Japanese Tea Ceremony was so quiet and solemn, I sat neatly with Japanese-style gesture for about an hour and my feet were numb, haha, but the tea was delicious and the sweets were so tasty :9 After that, I wrote my own calligraphy and it says "Jibun o shinjiyo, kiseki wa okoru" or "Believe in yourself, miracle will happen" cool, eh? :)

November 20th, 2012. Now it's time for some Thai foods! Since the scholarship money were just out, we went to have nice supper! :) All of them were super duper delicious! We ate a lot and had a lot of fun too! :D Fanny also gave me a taste of Swedish cookies that she found in Japan, it was tasty! :D

November 22nd, 2012. I went to Clear and Joakim's birthday bash! First, we went to this place called Sweet Paradise where you can eat as much cakes and pasta as you like for 1.5 hours. It was, to tell you the truth, quite expensive. And since I am a moslem I couldn't really eat everything there, hehe. However, it was fun and I suppose I can not find a place like that in Indonesia, so it was worth the while :D Afterwards, we went to a karaoke which turned out to be wild, for me. Haha. I will never ever ever getting used to people drinking alcohol near me. Hehe :)


Yay! Finished! Hahahaha. So, the last thing happened were just today (or should I say yesterday since it's 1:21 AM already haha). My first snow! The first snow in Sendai! So excited!

November 27th, 2012. The first snow in Sendai. The first ever snow which fall from the sky I experienced in my whole life. Subhanallah. Alhamdulillah. :)

Goodnight people :)

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.

Monday, November 26, 2012

End of Autumn Contemplation

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

I could have been born in a rich family, that can pay all the tuition and living fee of studying in other countries, a family that can have a nice, relaxing holiday to several countries each year so that I do not have to strive all by my own to get a chance to go abroad. My parents could have at least try to hire a musical teacher so that I can play classic piano, or guitar, or violin, or even harp. But it did not happen. 

I could have been trying to participate in an exchange program next year, but then I am already here now. If that happens, I might not be able to flexibly change my concentration on my management major. This place which I am living in could have been Tokyo, but this is Sendai instead. If it was Tokyo, my monthly stipend would just gone off the air each month. Little or no money to save at all. But no, that is not happening.

There are so many things that could have happened to me, but it didn't. Those things could be a good thing or a bad one. I think that is what we call destiny. All of them have already been written for you. Sometimes, you can change it, but you need to strive. Sometimes, you might think that other person have a better destiny than you do. But hey, try not to take a look at them and yourself superficially. You sure will be able to see problems. Each and every one of us will have problems in life, the difference is whether those appear on the surface.

This is a reminder for my very self. I need to try not to envy other people. I need to be grateful for each and every second in my life. For things that happened and things that did not happen. Also, I need to do my best for the future :)

Anyway, it's November 26th already. Those bright colors are starting to disappear. Gotta take pictures of them before it's too late. Who knows, I might not be able to experience Autumn again for the rest of my life, haha. People say don't lose sight when they are turning red, but I would rather say don't lose sight when they turn brightest, just before they lose them all. Yeah, similar with the lyric of Taylor Swift's new song, Red. Hahaha :P

Good night, people. Have a nice week ahead :)

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trivial Things About Japan

  1. Almost every toilets have those buttons to control the flush, bidet, water sounds, water temperature, and other stuffs. But one toilet may differ with others. One has a manual flush, others might have sensor which will make the toilets flush themselves when you walked out of the toilet! (I have been in this one before and I was pretty confused of how I could get it flushed haha).
  2. They have many flavors for many things. They have zunda, green tea, corn, and even adult-adjusted sweet flavors for KitKat. It is also said that Baskin Robbins here has more than 31 flavors. Ah, they also have curry or even charcoal flavored ice cream (never tried any of those but I will, someday haha).
  3. Your bicycle can never be used for carrying other people. One bicycle is only for one person. You also cannot ride bicycle without lights on at night, you are not allowed to use earphones while riding bicycle, and you cannot hold an umbrella with one of your hand while riding a bicycle on rainy days. Police officers might fine you for doing that.
  4. Mobile phones which is made in Japan would have a built-in television with local channels.
  5. Many people prefer to have dogs instead of children.
  6. Motorcycles are usually only for one person. They do sell motorcycles with double seats but it would cost you a fortune. Even more expensive than buying a car.
  7. Cars are not that expensive. I could use my scholarship of one month to buy a secondhand car. However, the parking fees are madness. In average, it could cost you 600yen an hour to park your car in Tokyo or Rp 72.000/hour. No wonder people would rather use bicycle, catch the train, or ride the bus everyday.
  8. You can buy hot beverages or even hot instant noodles in cup at the vending machines.
  9. Cellular network providers never sell SIM cards, all of the SIM cards are sold with the handset. You can also have contracts with providers and pay for your phone each month for a couple years before it become fully yours. It could cost you less money.
  10. Foods that can spoil in a day would be discounted at night. If you buy them at about 8 PM, they can give you 30% discounts while at 11 PM, it could be 50% off.
  11. The closer it is for a food to its expiration date, the cheaper it is. However, it is said that Indonesian people have already used to eating all those spoiled foods! Haha. It doesn't really change that much, not in colors, taste, or even smell. I have eaten an expired bread too. But just once, haha.
  12. Copyrights are a really big issue. You cannot download things without copyrights, and even supermarkets or stores cannot play songs of, let's say, Arashi (Japanese idol group) without having the copyright.
  13. Fashion style of people here is kind of different. You might never see guys wearing handbags which usually used by girls in other places rather than Japan.
I might have other stuffs coming out of my mind, but let's have them some time later, hahaha. Anyway, it's uber cold here. Wish me luck with the upcoming winter ><

Goodnight everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mengejar Mimpi

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

Terkadang, mimpi tidak akan tercapai dengan mudah, atau tidak secepat yang kamu kira. Atau mungkin tidak tercapai sama sekali. Tapi tidak pernah ada yang salah dengan bermimpi, perjuangkanlah mimpimu sebisa mungkin. Bermimpilah, seolah kamu akan hidup selama-lamanya.

Manusia hanya bisa berusaha. Pada akhirnya, saya percaya bahwa yang menentukan waktu yang tepat atau adalah Allah. Mungkin bisa lebih cepat, atau lebih lama dari yang kita duga. Tapi percayalah bahwa setiap kejadian telah diatur oleh Tuhan dan Dia-lah yang lebih tahu waktu yang tepat untuk kita.

Sejak SMP, saya bermimpi untuk bersekolah di Jepang. Sejak kelas VIII atau IX, bahkan, saya beberapa kali mengunjungi Japan Education Fair, mencari informasi ke Kedubes Jepang di Indonesia, bahkan mengunjungi kantor salah satu universitas Jepang yang dulu sempat saya idam-idamkan.

Bertahun-tahun pun berlalu, saya pun bersekolah di SMA 8 Jakarta, berkuliah di FE UI. Terasa semakin jauh dari mimpi itu. Tapi saya tidak pernah melepaskan mimpi itu. Saya selalu yakin bahwa suatu hari nanti, saya akan bisa menginjakkan kaki saya di Jepang.

And now, here I am. In the country of my dream. Menurut saya, inilah salah satu keajaiban dari bermimpi. Beberapa orang menyebutnya 'semesta mendukung'. Ketika kita mengharapkan sesuatu, terus berharap akan hal itu dan tentunya diiringi dengan berbagai usaha, maka semesta akan mendukung. Menurut saya, hubungan vertikal dengan Tuhan juga memiliki andil dalam hal ini. Saya percaya, semesta mendukung karena Tuhan mendukung. Karena Allah mendukung. Untuk mendapat dukungan-Nya, tentu kita harus selalu berharap pada-Nya, bersyukur, dan berusaha meniatkan mimpi kita di jalan-Nya.

Sekarang, ketika salah satu mimpi saya sudah tercapai, apa yang akan saya lakukan? Bersyukur, sudah pasti. Lalu apa? Saya ingin keliling dunia. Misinya bagaimana? Pertama, saya ingin berlibur ke Korea di bulan Februari ini, kemudian saya ingin melanjutkan S2 di Eropa. Mungkin tidak akan mudah. Tapi bermimpi tidak pernah salah bukan?

Saya hanya bisa berusaha, sisanya biarkan Allah yang menentukan. Semoga, saya bisa meniatkan mimpi ini di jalan Allah, dan berharap hanya pada Allah. Bismillah. Semoga Allah mendukung :)

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.