Cooking…: it is not only about food but also fun

I don’t like cooking, at first. But I am a loyal food lover. My mom is a great chef, and it makes me lazy to cook when I was in Indonesia. 

But now, I am living abroad. Doing research makes me hungry (yes, it needs lot of energy). And I am living far away from… everywhere -.- I should cycling around 10 minutes to reach the nearest vegetable shop and it is only sell vegetables 😹

So, I need to be creative… I couldn’t stand with hunger. NOOOOO! 

And I also enjoy good foods

So, tadaaa I am cooking now! And I even bought magazine about foods and recipes 


People said, food lovers are potential to be a good chef. Mmm… I don’t know, but I think my progress is not really bad. I think I always able to eat everything I made. 

My mom, who never share me her awesome cooking skill, told me… it you want to make a woman able to cook, educate her and let her to live alone or become a mom. Yes, somehow you’ll find the way to survive. 

But well… recently I started to enjoy cooking. It is not really bad. And it is also bring happiness when you succes execute a new recipe or make people love your foods. Woooow! It is amazing… surprisingly it relax me. 

More and more foodies I tried, and while my budget is limited as I am STILL a student… cooking allow me to try foods all around the world without buying an airplane ticket. In sudden, my kitchen become my vacation center. 


So, if you don’t like cooking… or not confident with you cooking skill. Just try it once or twice, I was bad also… but then enjoy it very much. Whose not feel happy after eat a good food? It will be double when you succeed to make it by yourself. It feels cool hahhahha. 

Wanna try? 

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Being an adult…

“God, the most merciful, guide me to be a person with a merciful heart”

translated from “Beranjak Dewasa (Grown up)”sang by Sherina Munaf


I always worry to be a very very very bad evil when I grow up… to be an adult…

I am worry to be a heartless person.

I am worry to be a bad daughter

Worry to be a bad sister

Because I know hot it feels when someone treat you bad. And beyond you can imagine, being hurtful is very easy. Very easy…. because you no need to syncronize your logic with your heart for that. 

You can be a very kind and bright person, but you forget to consider sociological and anthropological side of other people, then BOOM! You will mess up their feeling. 

I learn this precious thing while I am waiting for my mom in the hospital. When you really tired you will have no mood to listen other people prejudice and comment to you. 

Sometimes people can’t see and feel how someone already stressful inside. Already emotionally drained. Some people, maybe majority, try to show how strong they are in front off anyone… but you never know what will they do when they close their door… swipe the curtain. Maybe some of them crying.

Some people, don’t want to watch sad movies because they are very sensitive. My brother, a taekwondo and karate athlete. He always lock his room when he watchs Lion King. Inside, he will spent a roll of tissue to wipe his tears when Mufasa died because killed by Oscar. 

People who never know him will tell that he never cry, unsensitive, always kidding for everything.  

Some grown-up people also will compare between him and I. While we are two different people. I love indoor activities, my brother loves to be outdoor. 

And we have 8 years age gap. 

When my mom sick, when my dad passed away, when we fail to do something. Always some people who pointed our nose, “oh you are wrong” 

What people never want to care is we have so many stories behind the scene that no one never know. We tried our best for everything. 

When I leave my country to study, I was so depressed because I hear people opinion about how bad I am to leave my mom, my brother, to jobless. Smart… but heartless. No one care that until I reach that point I also cried so many times. And my brother is the one who support me the best until the end. My mom is the one who let me go “you should be better than me. You should reach what you want” 

Some people, mainly adult, never care how someone reach one point in their life. 

And I keep praying to the God, I don’t want to grown up if I become that kind of adult. 

It is okay to be a person with critical analysis and opinion. But, don’t you think the “added value” of being an adult is maturity? And it means you can positioned yourself, you can deliver your opinion by considering the psycological side of someone… the timing… everything. 

The trickiest part, even if we already try our best for that, we might still fail for this thing. But, at least we try. And later or soon, hopefully, we can control our manner. 

Hopefully, we can be a better person. 

And maybe become an adult is not as scary as some people imagine. Hopefully. 

(For my brother: thank you… ) 

It is never easy to far from home….


It is never easy to far from home… This month, I got many shocking stories. There was my junior in university who started to continue his study. Something happened, God called him a bit earlier than anybody else. 

There also my friend, almost finish her study…. cancelled her marriage plan. 

There is my friend, in so sudden… admitted that he is a gay. 

There is my friend, who decided to stop continue her study because she thought she couldn’t getting well with the class in her university. 

Some people even finding help, telling that they got mental health problem. 

Some just lonely but don’t know what to do. 

Far from home, every person might hide their own pains behind their happy selfie photos on facebook and instagram. 

For years I write my blog, sometimes I got lots of email from my reader. They told me many things. Sometimes there are people who asked me “are you a psycologist” (and trust me I got that kind of message several times). 

To be honest, when someone told me their problems, I can’t solve their problem. Never… I just can understand that everyone have their own “fight”. I can understand that. 

But, just like any other human in this planet. I also have my own war… my own problem… my own secret. But, I have a great family. I have people I really love and I know they want to see me as a great person. Not such a grumpy weak woman. So, every time I want to cry… well, I cry! But then wipe it as soon as possible. 

Today, I got a news… my mom in the hospital. And then I run as fast as possible to the airport. Finding a flight tonight. 

I feel tired, worry, panic, 

But… my brother, ish he must be felt that more than me. 

To be far home is hard… it such a big lie that “distance is never a matter”. Distance obviously a matter. 

So, for all my friends who far from home…. take care. Something might be happen. But God know that you can pass it, then we… in another leap of time, might be a better and stronger person.

Really… take care. For your good, and for all people you love and love you. 

(Haneda Airport, August 2017) 

Re-interpreting Rumi’s poem

In a book, I found one Rumi’s poet:

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” In generosity and helping others, be like a river
In compassion and grace, be like the sun
In concealing others faults, be like the night
In anger and fury, be as if you have died
In modesty and humility, be like the earth
In tolerance, be like the sea
And either appear as you are, or be as you appear”

I don’t know whether it was truly spoken by Rumi, while from what I read it was presented in such oral tradition something. I read lots of books, including Rumi’s but as I remember, I never read that one (although it is everywhere in pinterest and internet). But, whatever… I think that’s sweet enough.

I was thinking, why I should be a river in the term of generosity?
why should be like the sun in term of compassion?
why?
why?
why?
I mean, lots of things in the world if you just want to make the poet beautiful you can put any world on it. Then, I believe there must be a “philosophical” insight on it. So I tried to re-read it again, and find another place to satisfy my curiosity.

I found a simple explanation from one Indonesian writer, Maman Suherman in his page:

1. In generosity and helping others, be like a river, flows endlessly and never expect back
2. In compassion and grace, be like the sun.Giving warmth to anyone, regardless.
3. In concealing others faults, be like the night. Covering tightly without ever leak any of it.
4. In anger and fury, be as if you have died. Silent, don’t do anything
5. In modesty and humility, be like the earth. Always put yourself “lower” and elevate others.
6. In tolerance, be like the sea. Be tolerant. Ready to accommodate the views of a different view
7. And either appear as you are, or be as you appear. Just be yourself, as authentic as you are. Consistent between inner and outer.

Well, I don’t know.
I believe that understanding Sufism is not such an easy work to do. It is like me reading the Odyssey, usually I sleep after read about 1-2 pages. It is more effective than a sleeping pills to make you feel tired and sleepy :p

But, just like any other forms of art and culture, I believe that Rumi’s works also try to give another advice and insight to the community in that period, and even for today’s people.
The main problem is, we… we already access every good quotes, poems, advice, and so on from everywhere. But do we getting better? Do we change?  Some yes… some nope.

I remember, once in Indonesia there was an ulema* who had a speech in a prostitution. He simply asked “Ok, everyone.. raise your hand if you don’t know that prostitution is prohibited”
No one raised their hand.
Then the ulema said “See? Then every bad things done by us mainly not because we don’t know it is bad, but more because ‘exogenous’ variables. It can be social, economics, or cultural factor”

Back to the Rumi’s sweet quote. Take for example:
” In anger and fury, be as if you have died.
Well, sorry Rumi… in fact, sometimes we should to show that we angry. There always people who will keep doing their mistakes again and again and again if we just do a silent. A mom should get mad sometimes to her kids when the kids do something bad or dangerous.
A best friend should get angry to her friends sometimes, to remind them if they are on the wrong track.
Sometimes, we need to get angry for someone we truly love. Just to make them getting better.
Although, personally I prefer anger as the last choice after you discuss and give your advise.

Well…
But no one from us can guess what really inside Rumi’s head. There always more than one commentary for every poet. That’s why it becomes one branch of art, because it become sweet and beautiful base on your own interpretation. It is like your read a good book and your imagination tried to figure out all of the situation and people in that book. Once there is a movie try to adapt that book, you will started to say about how bad that movie was… not really because the movie is bad, it just because it different with what you already imagined.

So, let this poet flows beautifully in our calm mind, soul, imagination, and interpretation.

=============================

ulema: Islamic scholar recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law and theology.

Home sweet home stuff: Meeting my guitar again!

There is no place as beautiful as home. I thought a week went to Tokyo and enjoy my school life will be a good idea. In fact? Pfffffttt… I can’t endure crowd anymore. So many people… pollution…I still love the train and some beautiful shops I can’t find in Tsukuba. But to be honest, Tokyo made my condition worsen. I think get more stress here. It is weird, because I was living in Tokyo for 2 years.

I really miss home, I really want to back to Tsukuba. And it was a great relieve when I arrived home. Tsukuba is not as convenient as Tokyo, but it is so quiet and full with great park and open space. And for me that’s very beautiful.

Moreover, my friend realize I am a bit force my self too much recently and voluntary visited me. She really  surprised looking at my home was super messy “Marissa-san, this is not you!” Oh I know, and with her help we tidy up my beautiful home. I feel bad because she help me so much, so I ask her what should I do to “entertain” her. I mean, helping to tidy up my home is not such an entertaining activity you can do on Sunday.

ギターを弾いて… そして、歌を歌う” (please play guitar, then sing a song)
“Oh no… I never play it for such a long time”
聞きたい!” (I want to hear that)
“Oh… fine”

It is funny because in Tsukuba, my friends from the office are usually talking in Japanese but I answer them using English. I should stop my Passive Japanese Ability.

I really miss playing guitar, I was a vocalist for a band when I was sooo young hahahaha. But something happened I “retire” so early. I am not really good in guitar or any other musical instruments, but I know the basic of those.

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We record my performance this year, I don’t know it is nice enough or not… but kindly enjoy it 🙂

” I never gonna stop the rain by complaining….” << my quote of the month 😀 hahhaa

My short trip this weekend: Sagamiko Illumination

I don’t want to write lots of thing today. My head is full with lots of things. This Saturday, I went to Sagamiko because I want to refresh my mind and see one of the biggest illumination in Japan. And well… it is so beautiful.
I will give you a look 🙂 it is a hill full with LED light.
If you want to see more, you can visit my instagram account: @emonikova
If you need lots more, better come here 🙂
Enjoy 🙂

Mens sana in corpore sano – My vision 2017

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It was a shocking news when I receive my medical check up result from my university. It was clearly stated that I have a serious problem with my liver. Ok, I had a little problem with that, I admit that.. when I was in Indonesia. But they say it is not really serious, but here, I seems so serious.
Hah? What? Oh come on what kind of joke it is? Because personally, I feel good.
And you know Japan? They even get crazy by flu, of course this one make everyone lose their mind. What a total chaos.

In short, I need to meet a doctor.

I have two big problems:
1. I have a little “nosocomephobia” it is phobia to hospital, to be honest I am so scare  with hospital. Oh come on, have you see public hospital in Indonesia? It is… I don’t know how to describe it. You can see everyone, from the fit one until someone who (maybe) already face-to-face with the Death Angel. Maybe because there are lots of people and limited space.

I also have lots of bad experiences with hospitals. When my mom suffered by sudden stroke, several hospital rejected her. Maybe because I am alone, not look like such a rich person. Oh course, I have no time to change my clothes, bring all of my saving account, tidy up my messy wavy curly hair (I think I was look like a crazy person that time). In that time, I am just panic and alone, and I can’t think.
It is both scare and hatred in my heart about hospital. Once, I told to myself, it is better to die hypothermia in north pole and beaten by polar bear than I should  go to hospital. NO, thanks!

2. It is Japan, I need to find a doctor who able to speak Japanese very well. “Very well” or I should say “fluently” because I planed to ask many things. Or if possible, complain about everything! Hahahaha…

Luckily, I have very nice supervisor and friends here, they find me a good hospital and doctor. “Ok, Marissa you need good hospital and good doctor, we will make appointment with one professor in the university hospital. You will like him”that’s how Japan really “all-out” for everything

So, I went to that recommended hospital. And it was my first time to visit university hospital…. and it was COOL! hhahha…. it looks like research center more than a hospital. Wow! I am so impressed and forgot to take a photo :’D It is clean, wide, bright, and every nurse are smiling and greeting “Konnichiwa…” waaah, so great! I really want to bring my mom here :’D

I took my medcheck, and after that scheduled to meet my doctor… I am surprised when I met my doctor for the first time. Oh my Goodness, I wonder he already have students who already become today’s fresh-professor :’D I am never expect everyone in my office will listen my “request” this serious, so they search for the sensei of the sensei in that hospital for me? Ahahaha ok that’s great. However, my doctor is very nice, it is like you meet you grand father.

“Ok, Marissa-san, how do you feel?” said my grand-father-able doctor
“I feel perfect, Sensei…and don’t understand why I should meet you, to be honest. I come here because, you know, a bit ‘forced'”
“Haha… really?  Well, you should. Here, look your medical check up result. Ah…Marissa-san you should care about your health more”
“Really? But…But…? Whoa… lots of notes here. Sensei can you explain more?”
“Of course I will, but promise you will have regular meeting at least once every month. Until your condition better”
“Tell me first, I will deal it later”
“I spent almost all of my life as a doctor, and I know a patient like you who usually disappear when they feel good. You, I can say, in this type.”
“Ok, for my curiosity”
“Very  well, it is my last year before I retire. So, be good on me”

So tadaaa, then it was started a 30 minutes lecture about your liver and stuff :’D
My doctor in Indonesia never give explanation like that, so at first it was shocked me.

“It seems bad, Sensei. I never realize that… but wait… so, I will die or what? For this one let’s make it direct.”
“In the long run we are all dead, Marissa-san”
“Ahahhaa…. John Keynes! Oh seriously, Sensei”
“Wah! You know it! You are a true economist. No…you just need to take care you self more. I mean hmmm… it is already quite long, your health problem, but you really ignorant with it. So, if you don’t want to make it worse, you need to take a good care of yourself from now. If not, well… I can’t help.”

I choose alive for sure 😀

And another thing that make me happy is, he only give me one medicine….usually I flooded by bunch of medicine
“You only give me one type of medicine, really?”
“yes…why? Do you want more?”
“No, I mean… in Indonesia I drank lots of medicine”
“Not only in Indonesia, almost in every place. I have three reason: 1. I don’t like to give antibiotic for my patient, it makes them resistant with the disease. 2. Too much medicine will make your liver work harder, basically medicine is a poison in a small dose. so, better I limit it. 3. It is your effort to recover which important, not the medicine.”

I don’t know what do you think about my doctor, but I think he shouldn’t retire too fast. There are lots of medical students who will need his wise advises. Do you think so? But he said he really want to travel around the world after this hahahaha…. I can understand his feeling.
I am curious to meet him again next month. And seriously, you need to take care of yourself 🙂 sometimes you just feeling unwell and never care about that.
If I want to be a good researcher and good student, I think I should in fully fit condition.

じゃあ!元気なります!:D

 

My New Book log: A book diary for every bibliophile

I really love books, but while life getting more serious and busier, I can’t read as much as I want. Of course I am still reading, but reading academic journal, country’s data, my program syntax. That’s fun at first, but I get bored sometimes by that academic stuff.

So now, I utilize my 5-10 minutes to read every day whether in the morning or before sleep. The problem is, that time is too limited for me, because I am kind a person who love to make notes from every books I read. I love to leave some notes there to remind me which are the interesting or important part of the books.

Know that I really love books and making notes about it, my secretary in my office recommend me to have a “wanna do diary”. I know Japan really love diary and stuff, but “book’s diary”? it was my another “huh?” here. This book log is only sold in Japan Loft shop. And it is AWESOME at least for me hehe. So here is my new book log.

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I wonder it still not really famous outside Japan or between the foreigner, so mainly the content is in Japanese. But google translate will give some help :p
Inside you can write your short synopsis, interesting parts (and from which page), photo space,and you can make your own spider web so you can easily score your book. I love it! It will ease me to recommend books to my friends who love books (or give up to find a suit books for them from my book shelves).

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I will not talk too much today 🙂 I feel so excited to try my new book log 😀
So excited. While I also should prepare my day for working tomorrow.

Happy reading!
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Days after holiday is over…

New year holiday is such a very serious holiday for Japan people. It is one of the longest banking holiday in this country. In my office and any other offices throughout Japan (including bank) are off from 29th December- 3rd January. Some restaurant even closed until 4th or 6th January. I can understand that while new year holiday is precious “family time” for all people in this workaholic country.

Holiday may refresh your brain, but in the other hand, it is also can make your brain in such hibernate mode for a while.

I really enjoyed my holiday… although I know I spent lots of money this year 😦
When you enjoy something, you will feel time pass so fast, so do my holiday.
I realize I will have an important interview, research presentation, journal draft review, and lots of homework. My brain started to panic, yeph panic! But still too lazy to work. I can’t understand why our body always choose to work near the deadline rather than prepare everything in advance. It is obviously panic, but still can’t focus… and choose to look every random pictures of cat and so excited with the “Sherlock” series this January.

I think I am better to sleep then.
I hope tomorrow I can be back to my active productive mode and ready to face everything ahead.
2017…. I am rarely say this cliche thing but seriously “please be nice” and bloom beautifully like every flowers in tropical climate.

POOOF!

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Wish me luck!

 

Deep thought about 2016 and how this year changes me a lot

“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.” —Amit Ray from The Voice of a Mountain Bird

It is as many things happened in my life and converts everything from ordinary to the extraordinary journey. Who can expect that now I am becoming a Ph.D. candidate student? Doing research in such a very great place in Japan, surrounded by a very nice person…
Even myself never imagine that I will land my feet to foreign countries.

I met lots of great people on this planet,
Learn new things,
Eat lots of good foods,
enjoy every ups and contempt every down

Without no one know, I cried a lot in the past. I feel alone to face everything new. I didn’t know whether leaving my home country is such a good choice, I didn’t know it is a right decision or not to put my “ear plug” on and stop listening to what almost all people say. Every time I come to my father’s cemetery I always grumbling and said “I don’t know I can handle everything by myself, I really don’t know, you leave us too fast.”

It was a very big question in my life, is it true to leave home?
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I remember if in the middle of this road my younger brother never comes and ask me to go, maybe I will never be at this point. I still remember when he brought his piggy bank and asked me “So if you still not sure, tell me how much I should pay so you can make you flight to Tokyo?”
Have you ever face in your life that there is only one person around you who support you more than you support yourself.

My mom and my family were a little bit doubt about my decision to continue my study, of course for lots of rational reasons which I can understand. But, you always need to make a choice in your life. And you can’t please anyone in your life.

 

***

2 years is passed, I am already gain my master degree, and now… become a super newbie researcher in one Japanese research center under my super nice supervision of my professor. Just like every road, of course there always winding road, gravels, and sometimes you pass a dark tunnel, but after all some light and beautiful scenery awaits.

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To be honest, I think to accept the scholarship offer and listen to my brother is the greatest decision I ever made. I also grateful for every people who encourage me to take a leap in my life.
I am drowning in such a great joy. I am happy and feel lucky to meet new people who can understand me, appreciate my self, appreciate my mind and ideas.
I feel like an alien who wandering around the galaxy, and at last find a planet which inhabited with another alien who can understand me. I feel like, it is okay to be an alien…

 

***

How time can change you?
You learn lots of new things….

You cook….
You grow flowers on your tiny balcony…
You lonely and sad sometimes but you already experienced to handle everything…
You appreciate everything you have…

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And you finally realize that you love all people who love you more than words, more than you can explain, and maybe more than what they know. It is like finding a new querencia* in your life.

I can’t be more grateful, well…maybe I can, I am still waiting what will happen next time in the future.

——————
*querencia: /spanish/ a place where one feels safe, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn, a place where one feels at home.