Sayonara, Nam-san

Special for my exceptional friend, Naluporn Luknam Kangwannarakul, partner in crimes during my first 6months stay in Japan.
(I made this a long post on purpose, because I know it well that u dont like to read long sentences 555 gomen ne).

First time I introduced myself to lab members, I couldn’t forget ur sad face and mixed feeling, knowing that I already knew basic Japanese (you should take it easy because I only used simple words lol).

We spent a lot of time at lab. Our talk were countless. About our idol, funny (or stupid) experiences, our own challenges, happy and sad memories, Korean drama, everything. Gradually we realized that the habit of our countries are a little bit similar. And I think that’s why we could understand each other very well.

I told you about “gapapa” (it’s okay) and “makasih” (thank you), and suddenly you reply with “masa sih??” (Really??). Turned out another Indonesian student already taught you before. You voluntarily taught Indonesian language to lab members, you gave example how to use the expression better than me. And “pukpuk” (expression of simpathy, Indonesian use this word to calm down each other) is our second favorite word after “daijoubu” (it’s okay) because it gave us strength to keep moving on.

I can’t forget the night we spent at laboratory, it was cold but we went to supermarket and bought ice cream, couldn’t stop saying “oishii” (delicious). And also the moment when we measured our weight using a weighing-machine used for biomass samples (I will not talk more about it, I’m afraid you’ll be angry lol).

You who was the happiest person when I finally found some food that is safe for me to eat, even happier than myself. But also who had the loudest laugh when I finally figured out that I cannot eat some of them. Should I hit you or not?? (Haha just kidding).

You who knows my prayer schedule, like a secretary. You who always says “Uli-chan, stop!” when I was eating too much snacks (but sorry I couldn’t stop munching :3). And you who is the youngest daughter in your family, but so thoughtful and took care of me the most here. I learned that you’re so patient, kind hearted, and very good in cooking.

Yesterday night, when I was doing experiment, your senpai suddenly asked me : “Do you feel OK? Because you’re so close with Nam-san”. I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. We were always together especially at lunch time, and sometimes the lab members were confused about our names, called me Nam-san or asked me “where is Uli-san?” because we were inseparable. Everytime I visited your desk, we could talk in a very looooong time. Or we could stand anywhere (near table for food or omiyage, in front of the door, at corridor/hallway), blocking everyone and being an obstacle xD. And now you’re going home, your desk is clean and empty. Maybe I’m not OK, “Daijoubu kana..”, but since the lab members are very kind and supportive, then I should be OK. And I know really well that you will do your best in Thailand, so I have to do my best too.

Have a wonderful life ahead and please let me know when you graduate. Sorry if I ever made you annoyed, I still couldn’t be a good friend enough. But you should know that I’ll always support and wish the best for you. Don’t forget me and hope to see you again someday!

One of the most important thing I learned from you through many series of stories you shared to me :
We are living surrounded by lovely people who give so much care and respect. But there must be few people who doesn’t appreciate us. Let them be. The best revenge is doing good things to people who treat us bad, until they realize that we’re right and they’re wrong. At the end, they will get nothing but we’ll be stronger. I believe you can do it! Thank you very much for coming to Japan and being my friend. You’re more than welcome to visit us again anytime! :3

I miss you already :””

Me & Nam

Nothing Impossible in His Hand

Last weekdays might be tiring for me. Thinking a lot of things until I got lost 2 times on the same day, one time is even in my daily route from campus to apato.

During hard times, we often get weaker and emotional. But when I was about to cry, my ‘partner in crime’ in lab (our most frequently crime is talking too much in student room for a very looong time) cheered me up. And sharing almost exactly same experiences to my junior who lives far away in the North, our Line chat was full of ‘hiks hiks’, ‘huhuhu’, and sad emoticons :”” but we gathered our strength and ended up motivating each other.

Not only that, it turned out that I had a wonderful weekend! Our lab held a Hanami and we were asked to bring our own dish and then enjoy it together (potluck party). I was worried as Muslim has a strict rules in terms of food, and thought that enjoying the talks would be enough for me (or maybe I could drink some juice or taste some plain salad if someone made it).

But then, I really enjoyed the talks and also got my stomach full! Some of them prepared Halal foods, the event leader asked us to put Halal label if the ingredients are safe for Muslim (which was only me in that room, so I didn’t expect I could eat much before).

I wrote the Halal (at least Muslim friendly) marks on the first 4 tapes. Don’t know who wrote the rest but thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€
Table no.1
Halal beef stew, recipee from The Phillippines with the cool stickers!
Halal foods! (There were much more though..) Strawberry yoghurt that made everyone felt envious, Kare-kare, and seafood salad
Kawaii sakura-themed food, unfortunately I couldn’t eat these


Helped grinding the coffee beans to be brewed by our professional barista (just assume you don’t see the messy background)

Maybe after going through several cooking tasks for a lot of party (I tried to always participate and got a fixed job : Halal checking), the lab members already know really well about my food restriction. If not sure, they confirmed first by asking me again. How considerate and thoughtful they are! Thank you very very much, as always!

Another blissfull moment is when I was strolling around with my senior to hunt a good view for Hanami, we entered Tokyo Midtown, an elite shopping mall in Roppongi. And she thought that it must be difficult to find a prayer room there. I agreed, comparing it with Shinjuku where we found a prayer room inside Takashimaya Building on 11th floor, “Maybe because here is not a common place for tourist…”. Right after I said that, we were surprised because of the sign in front of us : ‘Women’s prayer room’, and it was sooo comfortable, more than enough I could say!

Prayer room in the middle of high class shops. Look at the explanation about men’s prayer room! :”)
The rules to use the prayer room

On the way back home, I thought a lot (luckily I didn’t get lost this time). Have been living in Japan half a year but always got surprised and amazed by Japanese kindness and their habit to prepare everything in details.

Other deeper thought, Allah made things easier for us even when we didn’t ask anything from Him :””” I was being reminded (more like being slapped on the face, to be honest), that when we feel worried or face any problem that seems too difficult to handle, try to ask God for some help. We are only human, our power has a limit.

But remember, His power is limitless.

(Now it’s time to get ready for the upcoming challenges! Ganbarimasu!)

P.S. Last weekdays were not entirely tiring, anyway. The same day as I got lost 2 times, I was thankful and grateful because I happened to visit my seniors (2 different apartments), ate and talked a lot, played with my senior’s baby, and got other warm supports that I couldn’t mention one by one!

Had a tasty dinner and lunch at Mitaka. Why do everyone always says I only ate a little??

Good life

These past 2 weeks have been melancholic moment for me. Maybe homesickness after 3 months being away from home?

But I was also being sensitive about my research in lab. Participating in group meeting twice a week, seeing the lab members explained their research topic veeeery well, meanwhile my progress was really slow… And my report couldn’t be compared at all with others. I felt that I know nothing and I was useless all this time. Then one day I couldn’t hold my tears, I was crying on my desk, in front of my laptop while reading some journal papers.

Then after short meeting and chatting with my senior and friend from the same scholarship program, I realized that those negative feelings are quite usual and not a big problem. The important thing is what will you do next after (let’s say) the mental breakdown.

I recall when one of the student taught me how to use some equipments although she has to focus on her paper to be published. And another lab member spared his time to teach me how to prepare medium for bacteria, inoculate pure culture, cell count, autoclaving, and many things (even let me record the experimental steps). In just few days, I already learned a lot from him.

Everyone in the lab is really hardworking, responsible, reliable, and helpful. I also realize about the scholarship foundation that supports my study. After receiving a lot of warm support and kindness, all those blessings I couldn’t mention one by one, then there is no reason for me to complain or being sad just over little tiny problem.

Besides, I still have friends who always support me, and patiently listen to all my stories no matter how many times I made them feel bored. Although we’re far away (some of them are 2 hours time difference and another is over 9 hours!), I feel that we are struggling and surviving together. Without them, probably I would not be the person I am today. Thank you for the late night talks and all those cheering up session, Sist

ใ“ใ‚Œใ‹ใ‚‰ใ‚‚ใฃใจใŒใ‚“ใฐใ‚Šใพใ™๏ผ(From now on, I’ll try my best harder!). Stop the melodrama and go back to the reality! Just take all the difficulties as a challenge so you can learn as much as you can. And like my friend said, it is never too late to start something or progressing!

*not quite related pictures but I learned that bad experience will be that awful if we only focus on the bad things and keep the negative thoughts. We have to look at the bigger picture and soon we’ll find the bright side. It might be a bad moment, but not for entire day. And even if you have a bad day, it’s still not a bad life, isn’t it?

I could take the beautiful sceneries when I got lost (seems like I already typed these 2 words many times before) because took the wrong bus so I had to walk, then happened to find a bridge accross Sumida River. If I took the right bus, I would have passed the chance to see the flying birds with sparkling river and warm sunlight.

And one of my favorite songs keep lingering on my mind, “I know my life ain’t perfect, but I don’t have to worry cause I’ve got all that I need right here in my life. Allah, I wanna thank You for the good life.” -Harris J.


Another challenge

Getting lost (again).
*Now considering to put this โ€˜activityโ€™ as my new hobby >_<


My route this afternoon was : Campus – INPEX Office – Apato. Couldn’t count how many times I said ‘Sumimasen’ because I bumped into someone or blocked their way in the train platform. I got lost (again).

After getting used to take the Yamanote Line train in Shinjuku Station, today I realized that searching Marunouchi Line is another challenge. I decided to go outside and took a little walk to another station nearby (Shinjuku-sanchome st). Not surprisingly, it was much easier to find the line from the outside xD

This is the perks of living in Tokyo, anyway. Someday I will be missing these moments, so I might just have to enjoy it!

(Not to mention enjoy the morning rush hour when everyone wants to come inside the train. With left hand on the handle over here, and my feet over…there?–couldn’t see my own feet, my plan to read journal/paper on the way to campus was only just a dream. I keep laughing in silence and hold myself not to grin when being trapped in that situation, and then scold myself : you should’ve left home earlier!!!)

Family Time

Sejak beberapa minggu kemarin jarang kontak sama keluarga. Chatting slow response karena kesibukan masing2, jadi seringnya kirim foto makanan yg baru dimasak di apato. Malem ini akhirnya sempet video call LINE sama adik2 di rumah sambil ngabibita es krim meiji *uli jahat*

Was reading a journal while made some notes, then felt something is missing. Ah! The snack! But I ate an orange instead (two oranges and two bananas, to be exact *LOL so many*, but Mothers always be happy to know their children eating a lot, am I correct?).
Avocado + vanilla ice cream, Recipee from Naluporn Luknam Kangwannarakul, and I like it too, because in Thailand and Indonesia, we always mix this fruit with milk or something sweet. But in Japan, they often mix it with Shoyu (?). And the lab member who tasted it said, “Hmm oishii.. Maybe because of the ice cream?” (Not because the avocado LOL). Anyway, Meiji ice cream is the best!
Chicken karage, inspired by the menu from Laboratory Bonenkai (year-end party). Before it was deep-fried, mixed first with liquid from yuzu (one kind of oranges?)

Giliran ngobrol sama Ibu, beliau curhat, “Ibu suka sedih kalo lagi masak, sekarang ga ada lagi yang siap2 bawa piring, ngambil nasi, trus nunggu di meja makan sampe makanan siap”. Trus adik yg pertama nambahin “Weeee bukannya bantuin malah enak nunggu hahaha”. Ak kaget banget, “Heeeeee? Iya gitu? Uli perasaan ga pernah kaya gitu Buuu”, sambil beneran mikir dan nginget2.

Ibu bilang lagi, “Mungkin kamu ga sadar. Ibu yang inget soalnya jadi semangat masak gara2 kamu. Adik2 kamu yang lain ga ada yang kaya gitu.” Dalem hati ak mikir, ini Ibu beneran kangen apa pengen nyindir wkwk.

Trus jd keingetan lagi adik yg paling kecil, katanya nangis 3 malem berturut2 setelah ak brangkat karena kangen. Akhirnya bisa berhenti nangis waktu dibeliin boneka yang jadi kesayangan dibawa kemana2. Dan katanya tiap tidur harus sambil meluk boneka itu. “Kalo ak sedih, ak peluk dan cium bonekanya. Mirip sama Teh Uli jadi ak seneng.”

Ak terharu bgttt dan udah bayangin Cipa peluk boneka Elsa atau Princess apaa gitu *GR*. Tapi ak harus terima kenyataan pahit karena ternyata wujudnya adalah….

Kuda Nil.

Ok bye~~~

Could you spot the similarities between me and the Hippo? Totally different, right? I think you’re the one who look similar to that Hippo, little Sis xD



ไธ€็•ชใ‚ˆใ่€ƒใˆใŸใ“ใจใฏ็ ”็ฉถๅฎคใฎไบบใงใ™ใ€‚ๅ„ชใ—ใ„ใ‹ใฉใ†ใ‹ใ‚ใ‹ใ‚Šใ‚ใพใ›ใ‚“ใ€‚
ใ€Œ่ณชๅ•ใŒใ‚ใฃใŸใ‚‰ใ€็งใŸใกใซใ„ใคใงใ‚‚่žใ„ใฆใใ ใ•ใ„ใ€ใจ่จ€ใฃใฆใใ‚Œใพใ—ใŸใ€‚

็งใฏใ‚คใ‚นใƒฉใƒ ไบบใงใ™ใ‹ใ‚‰ใ€้ฃŸในใ‚‰ใ‚Œใชใ„ใ‚‚ใฎใŒใŸใใ•ใ‚“ใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ€‚
ใใ—ใฆใ€ไฝ“่‚ฒ้คจใงไบบ็”Ÿใ‚ฒใƒผใƒ ใ‚’ใ—ใพใ—ใŸใ€‚
ๅ†™็œŸใ‚’ๅ–ใ‚‹ๅ‰ใซใ€ๅ…ˆ็”Ÿใฏ ใ‚ตใ‚คใ‚ณใƒญใ‚’ๆŠ•ใ’ใพใ—ใŸใ€‚ใƒ™ใ‚นใƒˆๅ†™็œŸใ ใจๆ€ใ„ใพใ™ใ€‚



‘Souvenir’ from laboratory trip to Gunma

*couldn’t buy a lot of sweets and snacks as a souvenir, so I just wrote a story to keep the memories

My first time meeting them was early November, when Sensei brought me to the student room. I was wondering how my campus life would begin, are the lab member nice, should I be quiet all the time, how to begin a conversation, all~ that kind of questions.

But later I realized, I shouldn’t be worried at all.

At department party, seeing my lab member looked for the place of halal foods among several tables and then showed me the place, my senior asked “Do you know him for a long time?”. I answered “No, I just came to campus yesterday.” She was in awe, and I added, “Everyone in my lab is like that.”

Talking about lab trip 1 week ago, I was asked by Bachelor 4th year students about my food restriction because they were going to order and also cook for the meal. I mentioned ALL non-halal food and liquid, they listened carefully then took a note.

Next day, they showed me an email from some restaurant, we discussed a lot about usage of mirin (kind of alcohol) in the menu. The restaurant staff said the mirin will be evaporated during the cooking process. But seeing a doubt and disagreement on my face, they quickly understood and tried to negotiate it again with the staff.

When we went shopping for snacks, I found it was so funny seeing Japanese people stopped longer at every spot to check the ingredients (which normally they didn’t do), and googling something to double check whether it is safe for Muslim or not. And when it came to the cooking time, it turned out that they got rid ALL the ingredients that I cannot eat. No mirin, no sake, no shoyu. The girls who were in charge for cooking preparation even downloaded some recipes from halal website. I told them that it would be enough for me to eat 1-2 halal menu, it’s ok if they want to add mirin on other menu, I just have to choose the other one. But she said with a smile, “Zenzen daijoubu.” (not a problem at all).

This is Halal chicken meatballs! I knew it from the beginning of the process (we bought halal chicken on that snowy day)

During the break for meal at the trip, I was given a special position. There was 1 spot on the table that was exclusively prepared only for me, with a memoใ€Œใฟใ‚Šใ‚“ใชใ—ใ€(Without mirin), plus extra udon (Japanese noodle) to bring back home because my chopstick had a special mark (along with other 4 lucky person). At another place, the menu for me was also special, everyone got sliced pork to be boiled, and I got smoked salmon.

I told my friend that I had to do pray, he asked the restaurant staff for the place but there was none. Then I told him that I could do pray in emergency exit (which most likely is not in use), the vice chief of the lab trip was worried, “But it will be cold there, is that OK?”. Of course it’s ok, zenzen daijoubu, as long as I can pray. I almost added ‘you know what, because of your words and everyone’s concern, I feel warm and the cold never bother me anyway~’. I mean I did really appreciate their kindness, thank you very very very much.

One more heartwarming moment, before the main schedule, we did an activity at Gymnasium. I thought it would be usual sport activities, but then it was surprisingly fun and refreshing (Japanese called it ‘Life Game’). We laughed A LOT with Sensei like nobody was quiet. Instead of their usual serious-and-hardworking side, it’s interesting saw the excitement and heard the free-laughter.


Then it came to another games, each group has to form a row by gripping another member’s shoulders. In each group, the female were only 2 students and the rest were male. I was thinking about how to explain that I cannot touch (and cannot be touched by) male students, when suddenly one of my friend in the group talked to Sensei and explained something. From his gesture, I knew that he recommended the formation of our group with me at the end of row and female student in front of me, just exactly like what I was thinking before. Everyone agreed with no further question and we enjoyed the game very much with laughing a lot, too. At that time, I couldn’t be more relieved like, “YA ALLAH, ALHAMDULILLAH” (Thanks, God!), why you guys are extremely kind and considerate and thoughtful and I almost cried?

The bottom line is, I felt the beautiful harmony between us. I am a stranger from another country with a lot of stuff they have never heard before. I cannot eat all the food they can eat, I cannot drink alcohol that they love very much (my friend has a t-shirt with tagline : No Beer No Life), then I have to spare my time for praying and it may need extra work to adjust with the schedule and to find a quiet and empty space.

They once reacted, “Wow, so many rules..” but then they didn’t take it as a big problem. Instead, they prepared all the activities, schedule, and even meal to be fitted with my needs so I could join and enjoy the trip together without uneasy feelings :”)

And I very much enjoyed the trip, as I could see the sceneries along the road (the snow wasn’t melted yet in Gunma). And forgot to mention another game that was freakingly hillarious, “Drawing Relay”, where I could see the truth that majority of my friend (especially in my group) had no sense of art (gomennasai, Minna). How could a cow that was drawn clearly became a pig?! My friend at the first row who draws really well couldn’t hold himself shouting out loud because of the frustration. And ‘sticky man sitting on cushion’ became ‘fishing’ because someone (wasn’t sure who’s responsible) put additional ‘sun’ (and maybe also fish) on his drawing so there was a huge distorsion. Too bad I didn’t took a picture of the craziness, but everytime I remember that game (even now when I’m typing this), I could still laugh a lot.

At last but not least, I feel so thankful to be one of the student in the lab and meet all my friends. And I do realize that words cannot fully express it, but from my deepest heart, I am so grateful to all of you. Thank you for coming to the beginning of my life in Japan ๐Ÿ™‚

For all B4 students, ใŠ็–ฒใ‚Œๆง˜ใงใ—ใŸใ€œ We will fight together for our Master’s study next year!

*Now let’s focus on our work at lab (LOL). Ganbarimashou~!



็งใฏใƒใƒณใƒ‰ใƒณๅทฅ็ง‘ๅคงๅญฆ ๏ผˆITB๏ผ‰ใ‚’ๅ’ๆฅญใ—ใพใ—ใŸใ€‚

ไบบใฏ้ ใ„ใจใ“ใ‚ใ‹ใ‚‰ใ€ๅ’ๆฅญใ‚’็ฅใ†ใŸใ‚ใซใฟใ‚“ใชใƒใƒณใƒ‰ใƒณใซๆฅใพใ™ใ€‚




ใ•ใ„ใ”ใฎๅ ดๆ‰€ใงใ€ๅญฆ้ƒจใฏใ ใ‚Œใ‚‚ใƒ‘ใƒผใƒ•ใ‚ฉใƒผใƒžใƒณใ‚นใ‚’ใ—ใชใ‘ใ‚Œใฐใชใ‚Šใพใ›ใ‚“ใ€‚



ๅฐ่ชฌใจๆผซ็”ปใจ็™พ็ง‘ไบ‹ๅ…ธใŒใŸใใ•ใ‚“ใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ใ€‚ใ—ใ‹ใ—ใ€ๅคงๅญฆใง ๆ™‚้–“ใŒใชใ„ใฎใงใ€ใ‚ใพใ‚Š่ชญใ‚ใพใ›ใ‚“ใ€‚

1a 1b

ใ€Œๅ›ใซๅฑŠใ‘ใ€ใ€ใ€Œใฎใ ใ‚ใ‚ซใƒณใ‚ฟใƒ“ใƒผใƒซใ€ใจ่จ€ใ†ๆผซ็”ปใงใ™ใ€‚ไปŠใ‚‚ๅฟ™ใ—ใใฆใ€่ชญใ‚ใพใ›ใ‚“ใ€‚
ใงใ‚‚ใ€ไธฆในใฆใ„ใ‚‹ๆœฌใ‚’่ฆ‹ใˆใ‚‹ใ ใ‘ใชใฎใซใ€ใ†ใ‚Œใ—ใ„ใงใ™ใ€‚