Wednesday, April 25, 2012

being overdramatic?

recently it has been itching me to write down here, but each time i'll be stopped before i could write anything. it's because i thought, does it worth it to have whatever i think being displayed? though i treat this place as a vent for what's fleeting and compressed inside me, it might be my temporary anger or emotional imbalances that could lead me to let out something i should not.

one of the status updates i see in the newsfeed in Facebook:

menulis dan berkata-kata ibarat berbogel. kita memperlihatkan setiap satu yang berada di dalam diri kita. 
-Radzi Ray Rahman-

or maybe what i fear most is to be simply seen by others.

yet i yearn for people to understand me. to accept me. to not let me feel i'm alone and helpless. to be my company.

Recently it finally occurred to me that actually i've been taking it for granted that i've been indeed in a blessed environment. Even the first year of me being here was something i should be so grateful of. it's an utter truism that one will only realize how precious a thing is once it's gone. as far as i've lived until now, it has always been that way, to have people around where i can keep being spoiled. now, after i got a few major changes in my environment, it really gave me a hard knock. and i'm now doing what i can to pull through. it makes clear of the shortcomings i possess that i've been trying to ignore until now. an averse reality i always tried not to confront.

well, that does give me a lesson in life. experience is undoubtedly a very great teacher.

but ah, i hate people being ambiguous, yet i'm doing exactly that now. how much more i'll contradict myself?

i don't know whether this song relates to this post or not, but the melancholic melody does fit my mood at the moment


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


alhamdullilah i made it into the final year safely.

and i'm gonna start the graduation research from now on. after doing a lot of thinking, i got into material engineering lab. immediately we're assigned to our own respective research themes.

i'll be growing tomato plant.

that sounds totally out of place, i know. okay, to clear all confusions, my research would be developing the most suitable sensor to detect cavitations in xylems, something undesired in plants i suppose.

so, sensor it'll be. oscilloscopes that i'm yet to be good at handling apparently is the main tool. at first, i was like "oh no", but what use it'll be if i keep avoiding all things i don't like. inevitably one day i have to get over it no matter what, so better be now.

honestly, at this very beginning i don't have a clue as to what i'm supposed to do. hopefully it'll turn better soon. let's start with reading prior research thesis done by other people.

this would be something like japanese practice in the same time. 

talking about japanese, i just learnt a term commonly used (by young people?) to describe something equivalent to what we sometimes use "killer" as in 'killer subject'. in japanese, they use the word "burakku"/black. so, a lab that really is tough is described as "burakku". 

"burakku no tokoro ni itta"

of course, when i first heard that, i couldn't even get a clue.

japanese's unique or quite different use of english words never ceases to amaze me.

like buffet is called baikingu/(viking?). or konpa/(shortened from companion i think) for social events like having dinner together in a group of people or drinking party in some cases.

now i look forward to more stuff to come. 全部うまく行きますように!

sakura in my school are so beautiful, now they already start to fall off, the ground is covered with the petals

Monday, April 9, 2012

not lonely toothbrush

the above title is the pun for a song title called "hitoribocchi haburashi"/lonely toothbrush

i have never been to a doctor so far since i came to japan. let alone dentist.

just the other day, a friend mentioned to me my teeth look nice and white. honestly, i was stunned. okay, maybe because she sat in front of me at the dining table, the distance between us makes all the flaws unseen.

actually ever since i was a child, i don't really have that habit of brushing my teeth regularly. the best i could do is brushing it once a day. at least that's what i try to stick to now, every morning after i wake up. i don't even know how to use something like listerine.

but even if now npeople say my teeth are nice, if this goes on i doubt they will stay nice in the future. and i don't really like the idea of having to frequent the dentist.

so today, i thought of starting a new resolution, that is to brush my teeth twice, morning and night.

yup, i did brush after i woke up as usual, and after my isya' prayer, i remembered my resolution and i zealously brush my teeth.

i feel so good for taking that first step.

and i'm already imagining myself going on with this habit from now on, i'll be a good girl.

a new school year, a new resolution that can be kept.

that really rings a nice sound.

so i was looking at some stuff, like the list of subjects i should take etc. yeah, and other useless things that keep me tied to the computer and stuffs.

when i realized it, i just munched on a bread topped with mayo and serunding.

day 1 failed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

end of 1st year in japan (part 3) - osaka & nara

from the beginning it was funny how i was to reach osaka from okayama. due to my bad habit of sleeping in, i couldn't catch the last bus i should ride to go to the station in order to make it in time for the bus to osaka. it cost me nearly the same to get to osaka just to pay the cab to reach the station, and i was in such a hurry to buy the ticket the last minute before boarding the bus. i know i should already learn from this but i just can hardly fix my sleeping time even now. with that, i reached the final destination of the bus - Nanba (or is it Namba?). my friend, laura was waiting for me there. we had known each other even before i came to japan, and this was my first time to actually meet her.

it was about dusk when i arrived, so we stopped at her house first. it is not so far from the station. it really is a convenient place to live at. as it was already night, we went to get our dinner - okonomiyaki. wow, recently i really had okonomiyaki a whole lot of times. but at this place, even with the grilling pan in front of us, it is the staff who does the cooking, you just have to watch and wait until it's done before stuffing them into your mouth.

we got a seat that gives us a wonderful view from the window. i could see the bridge that laura named 'hikkakebashi' because there's lot of hosts trying to hook you, if you know what i mean - i couldn't even remember the real name of the bridge now. the bridge is always full of people, it's like waiting place for lots of people, a place like hachiko hiroba in shibuya i suppose. then we just strolled at the boardwalk by the river at dohtonbori (do i get the place right?). at first i misunderstood that the dohtonbori laura was talking was name of the shop i always frequent, it actually name of the place/street. but yeah, they do have the same shop here in dohtonbori! but what caught my eyes is that the shops here have very appealing signs! effective advertising i assume, i really love looking at all those. of course, i didn't miss the famous glico ad that somehow represent osaka! (warning: loads of photo will flood your screen)

yes, i mean this!

the view from the okonomiyaki restaurant - the bridge

a while after, laura's friend emm came and join us and we went for karaoke. honestly, i don't go to karaoke much, but this time we really had a good time, i sang a few songs where mostly i can't reach the high pitch the original singer always do. it was nearly midnight when it was over, and before returning home to sleep, we walked through lively night street and stopped by a place run by laura's friend whom she'd really like to introduce, a really nice guy. even though it wasn't that spacious, the place feels so comfortable just to sit and relax and forget your problems for a while.

an interesting menu in the drink machine at the karaoke place, it also serves consommé 

if you can guess what are those little rectangles

again, rain restricted me from going sightseeing much, so what i did during my stay in osaka was visiting the kaiyuukan, my second aquarium in 2 weeks! my favorite exhibit would be the octopus, i don't know why. but of course i just love to stare at the tank with the jellyfishes in it no matter which aquarium i go to. also here, they got this very large tank containing huge creatures and the route you would take is going from the top floor of the building and you go around that large tank until you reach the bottom floor. it's amazing that you got to see different things on different levels even with the very same tank. the ray fish is astonishing too, they look so kakkoii just zooming through the tank. their wings flap like big bird. i love the aquarium! the next day, we decided to visit nara, quite a distance away but still easily reachable. how excited i was to see the how plenty the deers were at the park, even under the drizzles. they sell the biscuit for the deer so you can feed them, but how smart the deers to know you got it in the hand, they'll demand for it, even aggressively! but they're cute!! in nara, it's so peaceful. they have this famous temple with this big buddha statue in it. it's more like a tourist spot that they have to maintain, you have to pay the entrance fee just to see the inside. but yeah, the structure is wonderful, old it may look (it truly is) but they look so majestic. apart from that, nara also got pagoda and some shrines. as laura said, nara can be toured in a day as everything is just next to each other. we also strolled through the merchant district where we stopped by a restaurant based on soy products. the soy cheese is good! that was it for my osaka trip this time. i'll be going again this golden week, just what will i have in store for me next time~~

Actually the one i love is moon jellyfish but this one turns to be a great photo

they would go to such length for food!

this 'ema' at the shrine is really interesting!

who would've thought soy and cheese go together

Thursday, April 5, 2012

end of 1st year in japan (part 2) - okayama

by mid march, i already embarked on a journey i planned in the previous few weeks, a trip to the west! though last summer i've reached as far as sapporo in hokkaido (noted in this travelogue), but i have never been to the west of japan before. so, i use this excuse and took the advantage to visit Huda in okayama. the bus ride was more than 12 hours from omiya. it was a night bus and when i reached okayama, it was morning, but i ended up cooping myself in the futon with huda for the whole day XD it was pleasant, to just be able to spend time leisurely, doing nothing. it was only on the second day that we got moving and i did some sightseeing. because it was only two of us, no much time was wasted, we managed to tour Kourakuen and Okayamajou in one go. apparently foreign students in okayama prefecture got free entrance to such tourist spots, if only they make it for all foreign students throughout japan, coz it's not that cheap. nevertheless, the view was priceless! as i'm living in saitama, i have no chance visiting castles, this was my first time. it's more like a museum, but all the descriptions and stories written are in japanese, we were so lazy to read and understand them, we were not taught all these historical terms, so sorry. for all the castle lovers, you have to understand these kind of japanese in order to get into the spirit of it.


these koi are huge!


lots of Ume!


after we were done with sightseeing, our stomach growled and demands for food. so we satiate them with some okonomiyaki and modernyaki, i'm not sure whether they do it hiroshima style or osaka style(the ones i usually eat here), we were too hungry to take note. maps in iPhone sure is useful in such times, i just typed okonomiyaki and they appear. at first, the shop looks creepy to me, but it was alright. we were full enough to take some home. not only that, for dinner we had ramen! more first time for me, well ramen usually uses pork as the essence, but there is a place here that serves halal ramen. it was awesome! i could understand a bit of the japanese rave with ramen now. there i also got the chance to meet some of the TAs that were with us for a while when we were still in JAD.

modernyaki up-close


Yohei - Hide - Kurose

the next day, we continued our sightseeing and went to kurashiki. it is really a beautiful place! it reminds me a bit of malacca, they has this small river and you can ride the sampan as the guide will row you along  it. as any tourist spot would be, it's lined with shops, there were a lot of nice ones, including one specialized in cat-themed stuff! it was so cute, i got one of the stuff as an omiyage for arini, coz i know she'll definitely love it. they also have this one building which is covered with vines, at the time the leaf hasn't come out yet, and it's all chocolate, like a ruin covered in withered branch. very astonishing. i also discovered that there's a place near here that is famous for producing jeans. my brother sure knows about those brands that i just couldn't care less. and later, Kurose n Hide joined us and willing to show me around. so we went to an art museum where it assembles a lot of art pieces which are still a wonder to me. it reminds me when i went to carnegie mellon art museum in pittsburgh last summer with faseeha. it's true when they say u have to know the background of the paintings to be able to get into it. i'm yet to be in that stage, all i can say is those are nice pieces. after that, we looked into some shops at the shopping outlet near the place. huda finally found what she wanted to shop and i spared my wallets this time.

bikanchiku - isn't this view nice

they forgot to make us wear the headgear

ivy square - creepy but looks nice

the cat shop!

it says 'kurashiki - jeans town'

i love this display!

origami - stuff i like

i like taking these pix

even on the previous day, Hide has been telling us of the places i could see in okayama like Setoohashi bridge. it's a huge structure that connects okayama (part of honshuu) and kagawa (part of shikoku). it was so kind of them to actually bring us there. it was funny at first coz i didn't even know they were coming with car when they came to meet us earlier. it was night when we reached the bridge. it was huge just like i imagined! and beautiful. i love to see this kind of structures, to feel how great such things could be built, they really give me wonders. we could also see trains going to and fro under the roads throughout the bridge. btw, yesterday i watched the news when the great strong wind struck the area, that train was stopped in the middle of the bridge and they were stuck like that for about 7 hours. it must be really tiring. i made a wise choice to just stay home when they already warned about the wind. it was scary to hear it howled outside though.

when we took the photos, it was pitch dark at the place, spare some lights some place away. so the first photo was aided by flashlights by a couple of iPhones and the photos with us in it was actually a brilliant idea to utilize the car spotlight. 

that ends my okayama arc. it seems i have to do another entry for the next part of my trip. it's at the heart of Osaka!