Monday, November 25, 2013

Bucketlist: Updated

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

I've been thinking about updating my bucketlist since some times ago but I never actually did, probably now is a nice opportunity to do so! I actually wrote this bucketlist on September 2012, it's been a while, more than a year has already passed and I thought it'd be nice to take a little walk to the past and see what I've accomplished this year. It'd also be nice to see "what's next"s and pump my spirit up once again :)

Well, here it goes then :)
  1. Go to Makkah and Madinah to do "Ibadah Haji"
  2. Go to Japan
  3. Visit Disneyland Tokyo (It was funny how I forced my sister to accompany me to go there on one of my last days in Japan, only to be able to remove this from my bucketlist!)
  4. Travelling to Europe
  5. Have A Master Degree in European University with scholarship
  6. Get Married!
  7. Have at least two children
  8. Have my own house and car
  9. Get a job that suits my passion
  10. Have an Indonesian Restaurant
  11. Become an entrepreneur
  12. Graduate from University of Indonesia with cum laude status
  13. Make my parents happy
  14. Buy my parents a house, a car, and hire them a private driver
  15. Visit World's Seven Wonders
  16. Eat caviar
  17. Write a published book
  18. Taste world's finest ice green tea blend
  19. Snorkeling at Raja Ampat
  20. Go to Venice, Italy
  21. Walking alone around the block while staying in other country(ies)
  22. Stay at a seven-starred hotel somewhere in Europe 
  23. Visit musee du Louvre and Eiffel Tower
  24. Honeymoon in Italy and Spain
  25. Taste everything green-tea flavored! (Almost, I guess?)
  26. Make sushi
  27. Able to wear shar'i hijab style but still fashionable, like Hana Tajima :P (Not sure about this one but I've tried many different styles yet the usual one suits me best, I think!)
  28. Purchase an SLR Camera
There are still so many things to accomplish, may all of them come true with God's blessings :) aamiin.
And of course, more things to accomplish means more work to do. It would be impossible to just sit around and wait for miracles to happen, right?

Goodnight :)

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.

Make The Change You Want To See!

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

Several days ago, I had this small yet precious talk with a friend of mine. He's one of those inspiring people I've met on earth, haha. So we sat there at the lobby of our university's Faculty of Law, waiting for other people to come as we were going to have a meeting. For Indonesians, 15 to 30 minutes late for an appointment is considered usual. I know, it's such a pain in the neck, especially for those who value punctuality.

15 minutes passed and no additional person came to the meeting. I and this guy then started to talk about how bad this matter really is. I started to say that our environment really affects our behavior, including this matter of being on time. I started saying how I used to be quite punctual (not always, especially on morning classes, I admit that) when I was in Japan since I knew exactly when the school bus will come, how much time it would take, etc. My environment really did encourage and discipline me to be more punctual.

However, as the Indonesians might know, our public transportation schedules are far from reliable. Some do not even have a schedule. I personally think that it affects us in a way that people wouldn't know and wouldn't be able to plan better for their daily activities. We might think that the train will come at, say, 10.00 am since yesterday it did, but the day after, it comes at 10.15 and we will waste our time waiting at the train station for 15 minutes and also come late for a meeting or whatever schedule we might have on our activities list. It's frustrating, don't you think? I started ranting about this issue to my friend but then he told me that it's not always the case. We can actually make it better if the drive comes from ourselves. And... I thought he was right.

He made some points which made me think that the urge to change will be stronger if it comes from within ourselves. And of course, greater efforts are needed for greater results. It is not easy to discipline ourselves, try to catch the train or any public transportation a lot earlier since we don't know what will happen with the schedule. He also gave me some point on which he said that we could always use the extra time we'd have when we come early for something beneficial, like reading books, articles, or anything that will give more content to ourselves. There will be no more coming late, which might result in wasting other people's time, and no more wasting our own time. Well, he was totally right.

So now I think I need to stop complaining about how awful my environment is and start thinking about how to make it better, and the answer would be to first make myself better. It's a tough task as conquering ourselves is much harder than conquering others. But before we expect others to change, let's try to change ourselves for the better. So, let's make the changes we want to see :)

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Something Good That I Thought Would Worth Sharing :)

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh :)

Halo, setelah post kemarin yang isinya tentang kegalauan hati, hehe, alhamdulillah saya dikasihtau sama senior saya tentang video ini. InsyaAllah isinya bermanfaat karena menjelaskan cara-cara untuk hidup dengan baik di dunia tanpa melupakan kewajiban untuk "menabung" buat akhirat, hehe :)

Yuk nonton!


Beberapa poin yang mengena banget buat saya:

  • Kadang kita bingung, gimana caranya untuk "menyeimbangkan" hidup di dunia dan akhirat, dan jawabannya adalah there is no struggle :) selama kita memiliki niat yang benar ketika mengerjakan apapun dalam hidup, maka insyaAllah hal tersebut adalah amalan untuk akhirat kita juga. Semoga kita bisa meniatkan segala hal yang kita lakukan di jalan Allah, aamiin.
  • Allah doesn't want us to live a horrible life in this world, we can still have a wonderful life when we do good deeds! Also, we have a very short time in this world then we should make the most of it :) nah, caranya supaya kita bisa live our life to the fullest adalah dengan melakukan hal-hal yang bermanfaat di waktu luang kita. Semoga bisa ya, aamiin.
  • Allah nggak perlu apa-apa dari kita, malah Allah mau membantu kita dengan kita melakukan amalan-amalan baik. Jadi intinya, amalan yang baik itu adalah untuk kebaikan kita sendiri :)
Semoga bermanfaat dan bisa menjadi pengingat, terutama untuk saya, hehe :D

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tentang Krisis Kehidupan

Assalamualaikum wr wb.

Jadi ceritanya saya mau sharing sedikit nih, semoga bermanfaat ya, aamiin :)

Beberapa hari belakangan ini (mungkin sekitar seminggu yang lalu) adalah masa-masa puncak (menurut saya) dimana saya merasakan krisis kehidupan. Krisis jati diri. Saat itu entah bagaimana saya tiba-tiba berpikir tentang apa yang akan terjadi pada diri saya setelah saya meninggal. Saat itu saya sadar bahwa dosa saya sangat banyak dan saya sangat ketakutan karena merasa tidak siap dengan sakaratul maut, siksa di alam kubur, terlebih lagi siksa neraka.

Saat itu saya benar-benar takut sehingga tubuh saya pun jadi gemetar, keringat dingin, dan sebagainya. Pokoknya kala itu tubuh ini rasanya sangat nggak enak, dan saya bingung harus berbuat apa. Saya pun menyimpan kekhawatiran itu selama beberapa hari hingga akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk curhat dengan salah satu senior saya di Sendai (yang alhamdulillah banyak memberi saya pengetahuan tentang agama) melalui chat Facebook.

Sedihnya (saat itu), senior saya ini baru pulang dari ibadah haji sehingga nggak bisa segera membalas pesan saya. Saya pun akhirnya cerita dengan salah satu teman yang menurut saya insyaAllah dapat memberi ketenangan. Setelah curhat dan berusaha memperbanyak ibadah, hati saya pun terasa cukup tenang, Hari itu juga senior saya membalas pesan saya di Facebook. Inti dari perbincangan saya dengan teman saya maupun senior itu adalah bahwa: ketakutan akan mati itu perlu supaya kita nggak lalai sama kehidupan dunia. Tetapi, hal itu akan sia-sia jika kita justru terlalu takut dan pada akhirnya tidak bisa beribadah dengan khusyuk dan maksimal kepada-Nya. Intinya, ketakutan itu haruslah dijadikan alasan untuk bisa lebih banyak beribadah sama Allah. :')

Akhirnya, saya pun merasa cukup tenang, tapi ketenangan itu nggak berlangsung terlalu lama. Selang beberapa hari, saya kembali mengalami ketakutan-ketakutan, bahkan salah satunya hari ini. Saya merasa takut karena saya merasa "bukan siapa-siapa" dan saya merasa jauh sekali amal ibadahnya dibandingkan orang-orang yang dijamin masuk surga. Saya merasa takut ibadah saya nggak akan cukup :(

Tapi tiba-tiba ketika sedang solat (atau setelah solat, saya lupa), saya teringat pernah mendengar kalimat bahwa "Islam itu mudah". Akhirnya saya pun mencari artikel dan menemukan ini dan ini di Google (semoga artikelnya terpercaya, aamiin). Kesimpulan yang bisa saya ambil adalah bahwa manusia itu memang sejatinya memiliki banyak kelalaian, dan Allah sudah tahu akan hal itu sehingga Ia memberikan banyak kemudahan bagi kita dalam menjalankan Islam. Selain itu, yang perlu kita perhatikan adalah bahwa Islam itu sudah sempurna dan harus kita jalankan sebagaimana mestinya, tidak dikurangkan ataupun ditambahkan :')

Lalu pada akhirnya, ada hal-hal yang sudah ditentukan oleh Allah, seperti kelahiran, kematian, hari kiamat, ataupun jodoh kita. Kita cuma bisa tawakkal atas hal-hal tersebut karena cuma Allah yang punya kuasa atas itu semua. Yang bisa kita lakukan sekarang cuma memperbanyak ibadah kita dan mulai dari hal-hal yang sederhana namun berkesinambungan. Selain itu, saya juga merasa perlu banyak berdoa supaya diberi ketenangan hati dan diberi kekuatan untuk bisa selalu tawakkal kepada-Nya. Semoga kita semua bisa begitu ya, aamiin :)

Oh iya satu lagi, tetap kita harus banyak bersyukur, karena Allah sudah memberi kesempatan kita untuk hidup dan bertaubat :'). Semoga rasa syukur tersebut bisa diwujudkan pula dengan hal-hal yang baik, hehe. Aamiin.  Terakhir, semoga post ini bisa jadi pengingat, terutama untuk saya sendiri, supaya semangat dan nggak galau dalam menjalani hidup ini. Aamiin :)

"and the faithful ones whose hearts are comforted by the remembrance of God. Remembrance of God certainly brings comfort to all hearts" [QS 13:28]

Wassalamualaikum wr wb.

P.S : Ya Allah semoga kami tidak termasuk orang yang mengatakan sesuatu tetapi tidak mengerjakannya, aamiin.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Tale of An Eleven

"It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observation, and hope."
-Steve Maraboli


Tohoku University IPLA 2012-2013

Perjalanan tidak pernah berhenti menjalankan tugasnya untuk mengajarkan. Sebelas bulan hidup di negeri kepulauan yang berjarak sekitar enam ribu kilometer dari rumah, terlalu banyak kisah yang menyenangkan maupun menyesakkan dan sulit rasanya untuk bisa seluruhnya diceritakan. Tetapi terkadang kisah terpenting dari sebuah perjalanan bukanlah perjalanan itu sendiri, melainkan pelajaran, yang sangatlah baik untuk dikisahkan.

Refleksi untuk memperbaiki diri.
Bus serta kereta yang selalu datang tepat waktu, mahasiswa yang datang bahkan sebelum dosen memulai pelajaran, sampah yang tidak pernah dibuang sembarangan, etos kerja tinggi, sopan santun dan tatakrama, hingga budaya malu jika melakukan hal yang tidak sepantasnya telah menjadi pelajaran-pelajaran yang benar-benar berharga dari masyarakat Jepang. Kompetisi yang terasa dari mahasiswa-mahasiswa luar negeri juga menjadi cambukan yang membuat saya ingin belajar lebih banyak lagi. Citra Indonesia di mata bangsa yang berbeda juga menjadi bahan pelajaran untuk memperbaiki diri.

Belajar dan terus berkembang.
Pengalaman selama di negeri orang membukakan saya kesempatan untuk belajar hal-hal baru yang tidak pernah saya pikirkan sebelumnya. Saya mendapat kesempatan untuk mengikuti upacara minum teh, belajar memetik ceri, membuat kaligrafi dan pottery, memasak dan membuat kue, bermain gitar, fotografi, menari, bermain angklung, bahkan belajar mengerjakan paper dengan format jurnal internasional serta slide presentasi. Bukan hanya belajar budaya masyarakat negeri lain, saya juga banyak mempelajari budaya negeri sendiri untuk memperkenalkannya pada masyarakat luar.

Menemukan sahabat andalan dari belahan bumi yang berbeda.
Saya bersama delapan belas mahasiswa lainnya telah menemukan sahabat yang selalu bisa kami andalkan ketika mengunjungi Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Jepang, Jerman, Australia, maupun Swedia. Menakjubkan rasanya jika memikirkan bagaimana kami semua melakukan perjalanan yang sangat jauh dan lama untuk bersama-sama berbagi kehidupan selama sebelas bulan di Sendai. Ya, mereka rasanya seperti keluarga yang baru saya temukan setelah lama terpisah karena batasan ruang.

Mengenal orang lain untuk mengenal diri sendiri. 
Bertemu dengan berbagai jenis orang dari berbagai negara juga mengajarkan saya untuk menemukan persamaan serta perbedaan antarmanusia serta menjadikan orang lain sebagai cermin untuk lebih jauh melihat ke dalam diri. Terkadang, perbedaanlah yang membantu saya mengetahui lebih jauh siapa saya dan nilai apa yang saya bawa. Saat itulah saya benar-benar merasakan identitas saya, sebagai seseorang yang membawa nilai-nilai bangsa dan agama yang tertanam dalam diri sejak lama, dan di Indonesia saya seringkali tidak menyadarinya.

Rumah di antah berantah.
Ketika rindu akan rumah menghampiri, saya tahu siapa orang yang harus ditemui. Keluarga di Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia - Sendai selalu menjadi orang-orang yang mengobati kerinduan akan bahasa, pergaulan, bercandaan, dan tentunya makanan yang biasa ditemui di rumah, di Indonesia. Mengenal mereka rasanya seperti menemukan rumah di antah berantah, yang selalu menjadi tempat pulang setelah perjalanan yang jauh dan panjang.

Pada akhirnya, setiap perjalanan harus diakhiri. Tujuh belas Agustus 2013 lalu saya dan teman-teman pertukaran dari UI kembali menginjakkan kaki di tanah DKI Jakarta. Sebelas bulan merupakan pengalaman yang luar biasa, sebuah ajang untuk banyak sekali belajar. Tetapi rasanya tugas kami belum selesai, masih banyak yang harus dilakukan. Ya, saya mohon doa agar kami dapat belajar dari pengalaman serta menggunakannya untuk membenahi negeri kita tercinta. :)

Terakhir, untuk kamu yang membaca, selamat melakukan perjalanan dan berpetualang. Terkadang membaca pengalaman di negeri orang membuat kita ingin jauh berkelana, tetapi sejatinya perjalanan tidak melulu tentang menginjakkan kaki di belahan bumi yang lain. Karena menurut saya, yang terpenting adalah pelajaran yang kita dapatkan dari perjalanan tersebut. Tetapi satu hal yang pasti, ketika ada kesempatan, mencoba tidak pernah menjadi pilihan yang salah. :)

Festival Indonesia (Sendai, April 2013)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ujung Jalan

Beberapa waktu lalu. Musim hujan akhirnya berlalu, gambar matahari terik mulai menghiasi aplikasi perkiraan cuaca di telepon genggamku. Setidaknya tiga sampai empat hari dalam satu minggu diperkirakan merupakan hari yang terik. Harapanku akan kedatangan hujan semakin menipis, setipis angin yang membelai kulitku di awal musim panas.

Begitu pula dengan dia; sudah lama aku tak menjumpainya. Kalaupun bertemu, hanya dalam kelas-kelasku yang tanpa sengaja sama dengannya. Saat itu segalanya terasa begitu datar, tak ada lagi hujan yang menemani, tak ada lagi salju yang terkadang justru menghangatkan, tak ada lagi suara-suara sepatu maupun sapaan yang kukenal. Tak ada lagi rencana berjalan sendirian, yang tanpa terduga ditemani oleh seseorang sesaat kemudian.

Yang membuatku paling sedih, payung yang kini berwarna hitam kebiruan itu terdiam seharian di pojok lemari kayu kamarku. Terlihat lesu.

Hari-hari berlalu, hari kepulangan ke negara asalku semakin mendekat. Tak juga kutemui dirinya. Meninggalkan banyak orang membuat hatiku tersayat, sungguh tidak mengenakkan. Dan sayangnya, tak ada lagi hiburan-hiburan melegakan yang datang dari sang hujan.

Hari itu adalah hari terakhirku bertemu dengannya, hanya beberapa hari sebelum kepulanganku. Seusai kelas, kami berjalan bersama menuju kampus yang berada di seberang jalan. Ketika kami harus berjalan ke arah yang berbeda, ia berkata, "Senang bisa berjumpa denganmu. Selamat tinggal."

Rasanya seperti perpisahan.

Dan memang, itulah perpisahanku dengannya. Pria tampan bergaya '50-an yang seringkali membuatku tersenyum sendirian. Perpisahan itu terjadi begitu saja, begitu cepat dan tanpa aba-aba. Layaknya hujan yang berpisah denganku tanpa basa-basi, tiba-tiba saja terik matahari menghampiri.

Kata orang, segala sesuatu yang menyenangkan akan terasa begitu cepat.

Ya, tahu-tahu saja aku sekarang sudah di sini, di rumahku sendiri, di depan komputer kecil yang belum sempat kuganti. Dan di sini, aku menulis, tentang salju, sepatu bot, hujan, dan payung hitam kebiruan.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm Home :)

I'm home, finally, in another home in a different country. A place that I used to call home before I left for my second home out there in Sendai. I'm back, here, in my lovely country, with tons of memories and experiences from having a wild, adventurous, or should I say a lot more stable, safe, and meticulously structured life in Japan. I'm back here, finally, after ten months of wonderful journey in a country of a dream. Back in the world full of harsh reality; a city with heaps of problems, including extremely polluted air as well as piles of criminals, haha.

But home is always home. Since it's the place where you feel like you belong, to be coming home never feels wrong. Although there are millions of problems yet to be faced and solved, running out from reality has never been a choice. Keep struggling, keep moving forward, and embrace reality which might not be as sweet. As life thought me tons of lessons, as long as I keep learning and improving, everything should be just fine :)

Good luck for me, and for us :) and... Happy Monday haha.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Selamat Datang Lagi, Ramadhan :)

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

Alhamdulillah.

Alhamdulillah, tahun ini masih diberi umur untuk merasakan Ramadhan, meski dengan suasana yang cukup berbeda. Tidak seperti biasanya, tahun ini saya harus sahur sebelum subuh pukul 2.30 dan buka puasa sekitar pukul 19.00. Ya, selama perjalanan hidup saya yang dua puluh tahun ini, inilah puasa terpanjang, hehe :)

Beberapa waktu sebelum Ramadhan tahun ini, ada sebuah pertanyaan menarik ketika sedang berbincang dengan seseorang: Benarkah yang kita rindukan adalah bulan Ramadhan yang dipenuhi keberkahan? Bukan suasana sahur dan berbuka serta suasana tarawih di mesjid depan rumah? Bukan acara buka puasa bersama teman lama? Bukan tayangan televisi serta iklan bernuansa bulan puasa?

Hmm, saya seperti menemukan jawabannya di Ramadhan kali ini. Di Ramadhan tahun ini, timbul perasaan rindu akan hal-hal tertentu. Contohnya, saya merindukan keberadaan keluarga saya ketika sahur dan berbuka. Selain itu, suara adzan yang biasanya ditunggu-tunggu di televisi pun tidak pernah terlihat. Ya, meski terkadang terdengar suara adzan dari telepon genggam beraplikasi penanda waktu sholat, rasanya tetap tidak sama. Saya juga rindu menu sahur serta berbuka yang biasanya sangat menarik dan lengkap mulai dari es buah, gorengan, kolak, sampai nasi serta lauknya. Sementara tahun ini, seringkali makanan sahur dan berbuka sangat sederhana, bahkan terkadang makanan sahur dan berbuka sama saja karena selang waktu yang tidak terlalu jauh antara keduanya.

Setelah dipikir-pikir, di Ramadhan ini, ya... hal-hal seperti itulah yang saya rindukan.

Ternyata memang benar, nampaknya yang saya rindukan hanyalah suasana Ramadhan, bukan keberkahan Ramadhan itu sendiri. Rasanya saya sangat malu, telah diberi kesempatan oleh Allah untuk kembali merasakan Ramadhan, tetapi ternyata yang saya rindukan sebelumnya hanya sebatas suasana-nya, padahal saya yakin bulan ini jauh lebih berharga dan jauh lebih suci.

Yah, meski saya masih merasa sedikit sedih karena kerinduan akan suasana Ramdhan yang seperti biasanya, saya berpikir, bukankah di saat seperti ini lah kita bisa meraskan esensi Ramadhan yang sesungguhnya?

Mengapa kita harus makan berlebih-lebihan ketika berbuka padahal kita diuji untuk merasakan sulitnya menjadi kaum dhuafa? Ya, kali ini saya dipaksa untuk menjalani bulan Ramadhan dengan biasa saja, menjalani hari-hari layaknya hari biasa tanpa menu yang serba ada ketika berbuka, tanpa ada sekat-sekat penghalang ketika berjalan ke restoran, tetap melihat teman-teman makan siang di kantin yang antriannya tetap panjang, tetap bersepeda atau berjalan kaki di bawah teriknya matahari musim panas, dan lain sebagainya.

Ternyata memang sedikit memberatkan, tetapi menyenangkan juga. 

Semoga, dengan ketiadaan hal-hal yang telah saya rasakan selama dua puluh tahun melaksanakan Ramadhan, saya dapat lebih mengenal Ramadhan itu sendiri, lebih bijak dalam menyelami keberkahannya, serta lebih optimal dalam memanfaatkan kesempatan untuk memperbaiki diri sendiri yang masih sangat mementingkan dunia fana ini. Meski tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa saya tetap merindukan suasana Ramadhan, semoga kesadaran akan betapa Ramadhan sesungguhnya jauh lebih dari sekadar "suasana" bisa membawa diri saya ke arah perbaikan yang lebih baik lagi. Aamiin :)

Semangat, masih ada sekitar 24 hari lagi, semoga bisa kita maksimalkan ya :D

Wasslamualaikum wr. wb.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happiness

Happiness, for me, is
as simple as encountering an unknown boy,
in a supermarket in Osaka,
and smile after him saying "Konnichiwa".

Happiness, for me, is
as facile as having a glass of
an apple juice,
on a very hot day in Summer.

Happiness, for me, is
as easy as waking up early in the morning,
to breathe with the fresh morning air,
and being grateful for being able to live,
for one other day.


I believe that you can create your own happiness too,
for being happy has never been complicated.
You only need to choose it.
And go with it.

"People are as happy as they make up their minds to be."
-Abraham Lincoln

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Feels :')

We Are One - The Lion King 2


We are one, you and I
We are like the earth and sky
One family under the sun
All the wisdom to lead
All the courage that you need

You will find when you see
We are one

.

"As long as you live here, it's who you are. You'll understand someday."

Friday, July 5, 2013

Andai Saja

Sang wanita melihat ke arah jendela yang terbuka lebar di kelas dan menyadari betapa cuaca sedang tak berada dipihaknya. Musim hujan yang menandai pergantian musim semi ke musim panas sedang melanda. Rentetan hujan di bulan Juli. Hujan-hujan yang membuat sepatu sang wanita mengeluarkan bunyi-bunyi aneh ketika diinjak. Basah kuyup.

Hari itu nampaknya salah satunya.

"Adakah yang berencana untuk pulang ke asrama setelah ini?"

Sang pria tiba-tiba bertanya pada seisi kelas. Sang wanita tahu Ia akan pulang, tapi tak cukup berani untuk langsung menjawab pertanyaan yang tak terduga itu. Dengan suara pelan, sang wanita akhirnya memberanikan diri.

"Ya, aku akan pulang."

Dan nampaknya hanya sang wanita yang memiliki rencana yang sama dengan si pria.

Pria itu mendekati sang wanita dan mengajaknya untuk pulang naik taksi dengan membagi biaya taksi itu. Ah yang benar saja, perjalanan dengan bus dari kampus ke asrama hanya sekitar sepuluh menit, dan tak perlu membayar untuk itu. Sementara untuk membayar taksi, paling tidak satu lembar uang seribu yen akan diperlukan untuk satu kali perjalanan.

"Mungkin kita bisa menaiki bus kampus saja, kita tak perlu bayar untuk itu. Kupikir membayar taksi akan sedikit mahal."

Akhirnya berlarilah kedua anak manusia itu menuju tempat antrian bus kampus, melangkah dengan sangat cepat dibawah hujan yang mengguyur mereka dengan derasnya. Seperti yang diduga, antrian bus kampus sudah panjang sekali; nampaknya perjalanan mereka sia-sia.

Bus pertama datang, dan mereka tidak mendapat tempat sama sekali; tentu saja bus kampus sudah terisi sangat penuh bahkan sebelum mereka sempat melihat pintu bus itu terbuka.

Mau bagaimana lagi, sang wanita tak sanggup jika harus berjalan dengan sepatunya yang basah kuyup di tengah derasnya hujan selama empat puluh menit. Andai saja hari itu hanya gerimis, mungkin tak apa. Tetapi hujan hari itu sangatlah deras, Ia pun menyetujui untuk membayar sedikit mahal dengan menggunakan jasa angkutan umum yang tak sering dinaikinya itu. Taksi. Bersama dengan dua orang lainnya yang juga bersedia membagi biaya perjalanan.

Perjalanan yang hanya sebentar itu terasa begitu menyenangkan. Meski terdapat tiga orang lainnya di dalam mobil yang terasa sempit dan cukup lembap karena hujan, pikiran sang wanita selalu tertuju pada pria itu. Ia yang duduk di dekat jendela.

Andai saja perjalanan taksi itu bisa lebih lama, sang wanita tak akan ragu untuk membayar lebih, mungkin bahkan meninggalkan sedikit uang ekstra untuk si pengendara. Tetapi apa daya, perjalanan itu hanya berlangsung sekitar sepuluh menit, tidak lebih. Secepat itu.

Andai saja jarak antara kampus dan asrama lebih jauh lagi, sang wanita tak akan ragu untuk bersabar menahan lembapnya udara di dalam taksi, dan tetap tersenyum manis meski Ia duduk sendiri di samping si pengemudi. Tetapi mau bagaimana, jarak kampus dan asrama hanya sekitar dua setengah kilometer, tidak lebih. Sedekat itu.

Ketika turun dari kendaraan yang rasanya seperti kereta kencana, sang wanita menyadari betapa cepatnya Ia kembali ke realita. Hujan masih mengguyur mereka dengan derasnya, dan kini Ia berada tepat di depan gerbang asramanya.

.

Ah, andai saja waktu bisa dihentikan saat itu juga, sang wanita akan menikmati indahnya suasana di hadapannya. Tetapi yah, apalah yang bisa dilakukan manusia, meski dengan kekuatan asmara.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fireflies, Cherry, Pottery, Yamadera, and Baseball

On Saturday,
I went to see the "dancing fireflies".
On Sunday,
I went for cherry-picking as well as pottery-making.
Also went up to a temple on a mountain called Yamadera.
On Monday,
I went to the university. Boring. Boo.
On Tuesday,
I went to a baseball game, supporting Rakuten Eagles (Sendai's baseball team).
...and I missed the homerun.

Well, sayonara.

Can you see the very small spot in the middle? Yes, it was a firefly.

My first pottery! Pretty good for a first-timer right? But let me tell you a secret, the sensei (teacher) gave me a hand on making the mug taller, or else it would've been a bowl instead :P

A beautiful cherry picked directly from its tree inside Yamagata's green house :)

Self-picture :P inside the cherry green house with Kotomi.

Yamadera, the temple on the mountain. It was incredibly stunning. Loves.

Vast number of enormous trees on the way up to the temple.

Watching baseball for the first time. I could have seen a homerun but I missed it. Better luck next time.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Good afternoon,

I am sorry to say this, but I think I will stop posting the things I used to do every single day. I came up to a realization that it is pretty boring to force yourself to write "something" everyday while you actually really don't have any urge nor inspiration to do so. I guess I would rather put more content (haha) on my writings. The second thing is that it kind of violates my own rule for this blog, which is that I write things when I want to. Basically, I just feel that something's not right when I try to do things that I'm not comfortable with. I'll just follow what my heart says :P So yeah, goodbye The 61 Days Project, it was fun working with you!

.....I feel relieved!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

On Being Forgetful

Good evening, people!

I would like to share an experience I have always faced for my entire life: being forgetful. I have left my room with my iron still attached to the electricity circuit twice since my stay here. I have also forgotten my memory stick --and having my assignments in the memory stick-- for at least three times, and those made me have to bike back to my dorm and to the campus again in within one to three hours, yep, tiresome. Not to mention me leaving my mobile phone, watch, wallet, and other important things at any place you can possibly think of; toilets, train, bus, class, almost anywhere.

Good thing is, well, that I have only lost one valuable thing because of this bad habit. It was my mobile phone, I lost it in around 2010. Well maybe it's not too much to consider myself pretty lucky because I usually remember the things I forgot in a few minutes (at least in a few hours) after I lost them so that I could find them again in an instant.
However, as you might also think of, Japan is pretty well-known as a thief-free country, indeed very different with my home country Indonesia which is a robbery-prone county, haha. Hence, I almost never lost my stuffs although I forgot them all the time. There's a big "but" here, though. I'll be flying home pretty soon and I need to get rid of this habit for sure, since it won't be as safe anymore after I come home.

But how? I might need not to rush whenever I'm about to go out of my dorm (which means I need to wake up early and prepare everything beforehand), to check things regularly and to make sure that I left nothing whenever I'm about to leave any particular place. It actually is what I'm trying to do right now, it's pretty easy to write them down but hard to do, haha.

"I want to sleep."

At the uni.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Catatan Kepada Hujan

Entah mengapa,
aku selalu merasa lebih dekat dengannya di hari-hari hujan.
Karena entah sudah berapa kali, 
hari-hari hujanku dibuat manis olehnya.

Di musim dingin, musim semi, dan bahkan,
hari ini. 
Suatu hari di awal musim panas.

Entah sampai kapan hujan akan terus mengejekku.

Atau mungkin, 
hujan bukan mengejek, 
melainkan membantu mengabulkan doa-doaku.
Karena kata orang, 
doa-doa akan dikabulkan Tuhan ketika hari sedang hujan.

Di tengah hujan kali ini,
lagi-lagi kulihat sosok pria itu.

Si tampan, 
dengan pakaian bergaya '50-an.

Dia sekali lagi muncul tiba-tiba.
Di balik payungku, 
yang sekarang bukan berwarna biru tua lagi,
tetapi hitam kebiru-biruan.

Lalu Ia membuat wajahku berubah warna,
menjadi kemerahan.

Ah hujan, sampai kapan kau mau bermain dengan hati orang?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Assignments

Today's report: the academic burden is getting heavier, the deadlines are getting closer. Need to work hard to make sure everything's done by mid-July. Wish me luck :)

And oh, here's today's pictures.

Danbo and Nutella. So random.
Meh. At my dorm's corridor.

Levitate, and Be Passionate!

Sorry for not posting any post yesterday.

I feel bad as well since I didn't take a picture of either my Danbo or myself. I was so tired and I had a very long slumber yesterday, most likely because I walked to the campus, also back home, while the sun was scorching real hard. Yesterday was a senior's birthday too I and a few friends bought her a present and made a surprise birthday bash with the yummy Baskin Robbin's ice cream cake :)

Anyway, this post would not be related to any activities I did yesterday, but rather related to one of a few hobbies that I've been doing quite often while I'm here. You know that I've recently been into photography so much, don't you? And I've told you some times before that I tried to do this thing called "levitation" pictures with a junior of mine. To tell you the truth, I've been doing this whole levitating things for quite a while for now. I do that every time I get a chance to take the levitation pictures with my junior in the places we go to.

So, please check these out and see how I levitated!

The first levitation trial at a park in Sendai :)
(Picture by: Fuad Ikhwanda)

Second levitation, at Oogawara on a Hanami (Sakura-viewing) event in early Spring.
(Picture by: Fuad Ikhwanda)

Second picture at Oogawara (I prefer this one, actually, it's pretty sad that I looked  away).
(Picture by: Fuad Ikhwanda)

At a yellow flower (I don't know its name) field in Michinoku garden in late Spring.
(Picture by: Fuad Ikhwanda)

Some people referred to "Hadouken" or "Kamehameha" picture if they see this one though it was kind of "levitate" as well in my opinion. (Picture by: Diptarama)

The most recent one :) I showed you already, though. It was at Okunikawa station, early Summer.
(Picture by: Fuad Ikhwanda)
Anyway, it feels really nice to know the people who do things that they like and become good at the things they like. Well yeah, I guess that's what people called passion. I think it's important to know what your hobbies are, what you're interested in, and other stuffs like that since you'll gradually know yourself better and of course, those things would make your life easier and happier, haha.

As for me, although I had been holding quite a huge interest in art, design, writings, books, and so on; I just recently found out that there are two things that really caught my attention right now: photography and guitar; and I hope I can pursue my interest and be good in them too. 

I wish the same would go for you as well! And of course, for the people who haven't yet found out your passion, keep looking for them, the hide-and-seek game won't last forever, I'm sure :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sporty Me!

No more saying "(Number of days) before leaving Sendai", hahaha. It feels kind of sad to remember that, so let me just start each post without those.

Well, today was indeed happy although it was tiresome. Having had some five hours of sleep after-trekking to revive my legs muscles, I went to Amamiya campus' gym and played badminton. I felt so athletic, really, haha. Although my legs are totally fine now, I feel so much strain on my right hand. Yep, I had enough warming-up for my legs because of the trekking yet my right hand's muscles are still in shock since it's usually only used for typing, writing, and other sorts of light activities.

After the body-wrecking activities, I treated myself with an all-you-can eat course in an Indian halal restaurant in Sendai called Zamzam with some of my friends. We had a great feast. I ate quite a lot but not too much, I remember the times back then when I was in Kobe and had an all-you-can-eat lunch which made my tummy really full that I couldn't even move for almost quarter an hour. It was a bad experience. Even our prophet said that it's bad to have too much of everything, right? Indeed. I should control myself more often, haha.

To sum up, today's fun, sporty, and satisfying!

Dnabo's gym time!

Style over ability.

With Sendai athletes :D

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sendai Family

49 days left before leaving Sendai.

Family. Of the hardest things that could possibly happen to me is leaving a family behind. It was really hard for me to leave my family back in Indonesia about eight months ago, really, even though I know that a wonderful journey is waiting for me in Japan. Well, it turned out that my experience in Japan indeed is wonderful, even too wonderful that now I feel really sad to leave.

I know that I'm gonna miss the city and all the people I met, but to be honest, the hardest one must be to  say goodbye to those people belonged to Sendai Indonesian Community. These people are the people I have made contact with even from the time I had still been preparing for my travel. These people are those that I've spent most of my time with, those whom I spend my weekends together, those who taught me about cooking, photography, karaoke-ing, playing guitar, and the list goes on and on. 

They're too special that deep in my heart I can feel the warmth of a unity, a family where I belonged to.

I don't know why, but today after our trekking activity at Okunikawa, I feel exuberant yet my heart was broken by an immense sadness of knowing that I will leave them soon. Really soon. I only have 49 days left that I know I should treasure.

Danbo-chan on top of a stone just beside a river in Okunikawa :)


My levitation picture of the day, it was at Okunikawa station.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Consumption: Increase

50 days left before leaving Sendai.

I went to Uniqlo and H&M today for shopping. I'm genuinely puzzled of how I lavishly spent my money on unimportant things these days. I should save more, really, but all these environment and upcoming summer really tempted me to spend more on a lot of things. One thing to be noted these days is that I spent less on food and more on clothes, it's surprisingly unusual for me but still, I'm terribly consumptive.

Anyway, just got an interesting news today, a friend of mine will marry rather soon, this July to be exact. Wow. Time really flies fast.

Danbo's photoshoot for today, rather fancy I would say.

Meanwhile here's some boring, pale picture of me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The King!

51 days left before leaving Sendai.

From the day we arrived on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to see, than can ever be seen
More to do, than can ever be done
There's far too much to take in here
More to find, than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps greats and smalls, on the endless round
 
It's the circle of life, and it moves us all
Though despair and hope, through faith and love
The Circle of Life, from The Lion King 

Tonight I strolled around Youtube as usual and I found myself watching Disney movies' songs which tremendously brings back memories; the reminiscences from my childhood. Those times when I used to watch Hercules and Tarzan with my cousins every time I went to my grandparents' house during the holidays.  Ah, how I miss the olden times.

Among all songs I listened to, I found it really moving when I heard Disney Lion King's songs. So much of a favorite. One of the greatest is the one I wrote up above, The Circle of Life. Listening to the song, the memories of me watching The Lion King and The Lion King II almost everyday during my junior high school came up to mind. I loved those movies so much as well as the songs that I tried to figure out the lyrics of each song sung in the movies only by listening to them --well, the internet connection at that time was extremely slow--.

Aside of the great music, I also admire The Lion King because I could feel that there's a wonderful message conveyed by the movie. Just take a look at how Simba could finally find the place where he belonged to: his home. The father-daughter relationship of Simba and Kiara was also marvelous, not to mention the emotionally deep, pure love stories of Simba-Nala as well as Kovu-Kiara. It's also exciting to see the breath-taking adventures of Simba and rejection of Kovu. All in all, the movie is great both musically and visually as well as rich in emotion, I should say.

So yeah, of all the Disney movies, my all-time favorite is, without any doubt, The Lion King and The Lion King II. They're just indescribably awesome :)

Danbo-san on my studying desk (and of course with The Lion King background)!

Me and the only Disney stuff I got, haha. Now I'm thinking of getting a Lion King phone case!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Special People :)

52 days left before leaving Sendai.

Ah, time passes by so quickly.

I really like how human beings have this sense of affection toward other people. It's not only affections to the people you like as in your lover, but also affections toward your friends, and of course family. I can somehow feel the warmth some certain people give to me whenever I talk with them. And it really feels right and heart-warming. It's amazing how human brain can produce some particular hormones (I guess) which makes you feel comfortable with people.

I of course have quite some number of friends during my stay here. And as usual, you will have those friends whom you only say "hi" to and those other friends whom you can actually talk to and usually are with you all the time. But somehow I feel like there are also some people in the middle. Those people you don't really talk to, but you know that they somehow "clicked" with you and you know for certain that you could be great friends, it's only the time and the situation that do not allow you to do so.

Well, to be honest, I met a few of those people who fell into this third category. I rarely see or talk to them --at least not as often as I do with my good friends here-- yet I can always feel the warmth and the comfort talking with them. It's really a nice feeling :)

A friend once asked me about this matter and said that I might need to do something to extend my friendship with those people. But I think, even though I know that I only have less than two months in Sendai, I would rather leave things as it is. I just want to make things flow naturally. In the future, if I do become good friends with those people then that would be great, otherwise I still have this special, particular affection toward them. Anyway, it's kind of exciting to see what the future will bring you about, right?

Danbo-chan and the groceries :)

Just did my grocery shopping today at one of the most popular supermarket called Seiyu (it's actually Walmart but they changed the name for the Japanese branch)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kaiten Sushi

53 days left before leaving Sendai.

I'm stuffed. I had eleven plates of sushi, a pudding, and a cake for lunch. It happened in a place called Kappa Sushi. It's one of the Indonesian people's favorite eating places since it's cheap, hahaha. Kappa Sushi is one brand of kaiten sushi, which is basically a place to eat sushi where they use the conveyor belt to distribute the sushi. The kaiten sushi is also well-known for being a place to eat cheap sushi. It's apparently very common to find this kind of sushi place in Japan. 

One thing that distinguishes kaiten sushi with sushi restaurant is, as I already mentioned, that it has this conveyor belt which literally conveys the sushi from the kitchen to the customers. As you might expect from the Japanese people, all of the things in this kind of dining place is automated. We can order sushi by using the touch pad available at each table and after your order is processed, they will send the orders to you by using a mini bullet-train-like conveyor which would stop directly at your table. A kind of chime will then be played to give you a notice that your order had already arrived. You will then need to push a button after taking all your orders, then the bullet-train-like conveyor will go back to the kitchen and wait for the next order. It's pretty cool to know how the Japanese actually apply these technologies on daily basis.

Anyway, regarding the sushi itself; although kaiten sushi is considered cheap, I still find the sushi here is much more tasty than those I find in Indonesia. Well, we're not talking about fusion sushi (of course not, I don't even get why those type of "sushi" is considered sushi at the first place). But anyway, the fish here is much more fresh and I somehow really like the taste of the raw fishes here. It's much more delicious and I almost can't smell any stench out of them.

So yeah, even though I only usually eat the kaiten ones, I definitely will miss the sushi here :) Considering I only have about 60 days before leaving Japan (and 54 days before leaving Sendai), I hereby assume that my decision to eat 11 plates of sushi was not wrong at all.

Yeay, The Danbo on his first experience at kaiten sushi place!

There goes the conveyor belt :) just above the first conveyor belt which serves sushi for customers, there's another  "rail" for table's order conveyor which will come with the train-like shape directly to your tables.

An extra picture for today :) we had fun. YEEESS! And ah, could you see the touch pad? It's the rectangular-shaped black-edged item placed just above the conveyor belts with the pictures of their menus :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

One Down, Two More To Go

54 days left before leaving Sendai.

I'm relieved and feel somewhat content as I nearly finished my independent study paper. The paper titled "Revenue Strategies of Social Enterprises: A Literature Review". It laid its focus on the current situation, the underlying background, as well as possible effects of revenue strategies chosen by social enterprises. This paper is the second paper I wrote during my time in Tohoku University. 

My first paper was also related to social entrepreneurship since it is one of the things I put a lot of interest in aside of books, photography, guitar, and other academically irrelevant stuffs. It was titled "Social Entrepreneurship in Tohoku University Students: Motivations and Hindrances". The title says it all, eh?

Anyway, my half-academic year (because the other half is a holiday-year) in Tohoku University teaches me that writing about things that you actually like is a lot less troublesome than writing things that you have no interest in. Probably that is why the time I spent to write on my blog accounts a lot more than the time I used for writing my reports or assignments. Haha. 

Even so, I'm still wondering if reading a lot of materials on one particular issue would actually grow our interest in that issue. I hope so though, since I still have two more papers to finish by the time this semester ends. One is on Toyota's lean manufacturing system and the other one is on corporate governance in Japan and its relation with Japanese financial system. The first one is more preferable for me than the latter but I will try hard to like it as well as put a lot of thoughts on it.

Moving on from all those academic writings, I'll talk on my academic presentation. Hahaha. I'll have my first open-for-public seminar on my independent study writing this semester. It was kind of nerve-wracking when my sensei told me to do this presentation but considering the number of people who will come (which is more likely to be only a few) I feel more relaxed. I am actually pretty anxious too (another part of me hopes that numerous people would come), since this kind of experience will probably brush up my ability in presenting my ideas. Getting feed-backs would also help me a lot for my future studies (e.g. to write my undergraduate thesis).

So yeah, that's today. I hope this overly-academic-related post won't bother you, haha. Let's try our best in doing not only fun stuffs but also some serious matters :P

Should The Danbo replace me on my presentation? :P

Official poster on the public seminar.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

One of Those Lazy Days

55 days left before leaving Sendai.

Today is one of those rare days when I actually had dozens of plans and schedules but then ended up doing nothing. I should have had a badminton match this morning but it turned out that the indoor court had already been reserved by other people before we actually managed to get there. I also had to do my independent study analysis and I am totally conscious about that task but I somehow ended up playing guitar, reading a book, and doing my usual habit -- surfing on the internet.

Another postponed errand is to photo-hunt. I and a friend had meticulously prepared to do this photo-hunting since almost a month ago. Rather unlikely, on the day with all of these postponed and cancelled plans, I did do one thing I've been preparing to do: buying a new camera lens. It was an AF-S Nikkor 50mm F 1.8G. It was secondhand, I bought it cheap from a senior who wanted to buy a new one. Lucky, I should say.

Anyway, the pictures below were produced via the new lense :)

The Danbo playing on my laptop's keyboard.

The Danbo wanted to escape, but he couldn't. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

On Osaki Hachiman Shrine and Rains

56 days left before leaving Sendai.

The Osaki Hachiman shrine was the first tourism spot I visited in Sendai. The first time I went there was during my first two weeks here. I find the shrine itself not too fancy, just an ordinary Shinto shrine with the big red gate called "mon" which distinguishes a Shinto shrine with its only counterpart, the Buddhist shrine.

For a video shooting, today's weather was pretty unfriendly since it was drizzling ever since I woke up. Such a nice weather to spend the day only by sleeping for hours. However, I got to help a friend creating a video and finally decided to go to the shrine after the sun eventually came out.

Later on the day, I spend four hours in a small, nice, air-conditioned karaoke room singing with a senior. A brokenhearted girl sure needs some time singing by herself, trying to forget all the bad memories given by some particular guy, haha. Well, I'm talking about my senior of course. For me, accompanying her doing those self-healing stuffs was not a burden at all, it was pretty fun and I did enjoy myself. 

It was not long until the rain came again at night, leaving all the water traces along the pavements. Lucky enough, I did use my sneakers instead of my flat shoes. But well, Saturday-night downtown was filled with heaps of people and Sendai's towering humidity made me feel like I was steamed; strangely, with some sprinkles of water of some sort. Pretty weird atmosphere, haha.

Osaki Hachiman shrine's gate.  The Danbo somehow looked a bit confused, don't you think?

Aww yeah. Ohisahiburi, Osaki Hachiman shrine :)

The Dining Hall -- Aobayama's Favorite Spot

Hi and again, sorry for posting this late. This post is supposed to be posted yesterday but I unintentionally fell asleep pretty fast last night. It was out of control, folks. I'm terribly sorry for that.

Yesterday was a fine day spent almost entirely at the university. From the morning up until around 4 pm I spent the day at university's Kawauchi campus. I had classes, had a nice lunch with my fellow IPLA friends, and the had quite a long-and-deep talk with a senior of mine. I had so much fun exchanging ideas as well as talking to a senior with some significant age gap, since I got to know their way of thinking.

After spending quite a long day in Kawauchi, I took the campus bus all the way up to the Aobayama campus --yes, that forest-like campus in which you can see bears and animals of other sorts-- to meet the group of people from my country. We had some serious talk on our religion as well as some light jokes and normal conversations.

Before leaving for home, I prayed at my favorite spot at the Aobayama campus, which is the fourth floor of the dining hall. The fourth floor was quite spacious featured with a large-and-sophisticated conference hall as well as two really nice toilets, really recommended :P

Ah, the best thing of this floor is that it has floor-to-ceiling windows which allow me to see the beautiful view of Aobayama campus. It's not too high though, compared to other buildings which can have up to 10 or even 15 levels, but still it's pretty nice with of the existence of the windows :)

Stunned by the amazing view (probably).

Only several minutes before the sky turned completely dark.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Customized T-Shirt Came!

58 days left before leaving Sendai.

Just a few months before people start leaving Sendai, there were some initiatives from fellow exchange students to make some sort of limited souvenirs for us to bring back home. One of a friend from Sweden decided to make a customized Tohoku University t-shirt and one of the IPLA colleagues from Thailand helped a lot on creating our own IPLA pullover.

The pullover is not ready yet as we're still on the process of buying the pullovers from H&M and Uniqlo which will later be sent all the way to Thailand to get them embroidered. After finishing the embroidery process, they will be sent back to Japan and then be brought home by IPLA students to several countries. It was quite a complicated sequence but hey, they're some lucky pullovers right?

As for the t-shirt, it was already done and I have one with me right now. Although it was kind of expensive for a t-shirt --especially if you convert the price to Indonesian rupiahs--, the design pretty much suits my taste and I really like how the printing was nicely done. Thank God (and the Swedish friend) it was not some sort of badly-printed t-shirt that you know you will never use because they ain't no good at all.

So, yeah. Here's some pictures just in case you want to know how it looks like :)

The t-shirt unfortunately doesn't suit my Danbo.

New t-shirt! Yay! And of course, with the typical Japanese peace-sign pose :)

Hirose River

I am sorry for the late post. This post is supposed to be written yesterday but I was too busy writing on my report and practicing guitar as well as making soup for a senior who was ill that I did not have enough time to write a post on the blog -- neither did I have enough sleep.

Yesterday was a happy, albeit the pile of homework waited to be done, a bit drizzly day. I was happy that I missed the campus bus so that I could walk home by my own. I bothered to stop by for a little while at the park near the river, enjoying the cool weather which I suppose will disappear in a blink of an eye since summer is coming really soon.

The river itself is called Hirose-gawa. The name of the river is Hirose and "gawa" is derived from a Japanese word "kawa" which means river. It flows 45 km through Sendai and is well-known as a symbol of Sendai. Lucky enough, I have to cross the bridge over that river every single time I go to the university. 

To be honest, I don't go to that river so often but I have spent a couple of my days here in Sendai to do several different activities near the river. There was one time in autumn when I went to an Imoni party where people had some stew at the river side. There was some other time when I needed to go the river to shoot one of the scene of Festina's trailer. There were also times when I went there only because I wanted to feel the fresh air and the calming breeze; just like yesterday.

Hirose-gawa is a really nice place to relax, sometimes going there can release all the strains I got because of the university life and eventually I could get a grip of myself despite the tiresome academic burden. I know I will miss it some day in the future.

The Danbo (I might just call him this way) on top of one wooden couch at the river side.

Having quite some quality time with myself.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Aobayama Holiday

60 days left before leaving Sendai.

Tuesdays have always been my holiday this semester. She has been a really good friend by allowing me to spend her doing almost nothing, sometimes cooking, or even only listening to good music from my laptop. But today was a little different. Realizing the fact that my time in Sendai is no longer as long as it felt like several months ago, I decided to use my precious holy-Tuesday for going to Aobayama campus and practising some guitar skill.

I met a really good friend in Aobayama to borrow him a guitar-ish thing called capo (and he lends me a nice book as well). After meeting him, I went straight to the cafeteria which sometimes called the Teletubbies hill because of its appearance. The cafeteria itself was a really nice-looking one, I personally love the architecture. 

After having a proper meal at the "gakushoku" (student cafeteria), I went to an open study room at the library. Although sometimes the libraries here are overly quiet for me (sometimes you feel like they can hear you breathing; it's a bit terrifying), I enjoyed having a couple of hours skimming through my Japanese textbook as well as reading a few chapters from Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol before finally leaving for the school bus that would take me home at 16.23.

Anyway, talking about Aobayama campus, it feels somehow incomplete if we're not talking about bears which could be seen from afar sometimes in this forest-like part of Tohoku University. A senior of mine told me that today she had received three emails from the university regarding bear-sighting around the campus. Pretty scary yet exciting; should I have a chance to see the bear (from a safe-distance of course), I would love to see them.

The Danbo (nope, I haven't decided on the name yet) having me accompanied in the  quiet study room.

Me taking self-picture with the "manner camera", trying to deceive the iPhone shutter sound that can't be turned off.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rooftop Sunrise

61 days left before leaving Sendai.

I went to the rooftop as early as 04.13 a.m. only to see the magnificent view of the rising sun from the top of the building I have been living in for the last eight months. It is a shame that I don't come to see the view often -- blame me for being nocturnal -- but still, I enjoyed today's sunrise. The fresh morning air and the beautiful orange-ish sky really did make me want to do this more often.

Today --with the slight sleepy effect of sunrise viewing-- was spent nicely and not being wasted by me sleeping all-day-long in the university dorm. The meeting with academic adviser on my independent study research went quite well despite the fact that I haven't been progressing that much. A colleague has almost finalized her final thesis although it feels like it has just been a few weeks when she first started introducing me and my sensei her thesis outline. 

I got a chance to see the dog which usually stays before a window on my way home as well. I will miss him (or is it her?) for sure after I get back home.

Ah time, you've been passing through real fast these days.

Danbo (I might need to give it a name) witnessed its first sunrise.

Me being badly dressed at around 4.30 am.