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) 

My Monday notes: Because no one is problem-free and why we (maybe) need to have a cellphone-diet

“The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric; and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will compromised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, make your life yours. And everything-everything-will be on it!” – John Green

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Well! Life without cellphone is somehow so much better. At least I am studying more, and see awesome lecturer videos. Until I saw this awesome John Green video for one crashcourse video. Well, John Green… I think it is always easy for us to like this kind of person. He is one of my favorite (you should check him out if you haven’t know about what he done and even who is he 🙂 ).

As I told you yesterday, I just started my “Cellphone Diet”. Because this small awesome smart phone really convenient and make me addicted… and keep staring on it… and then stressed myself because it is easily accessed any social media and similar… and I keep comparing myself with other people because I felt like “WOW! Why other people is nothing but so much better than me?!” While… maybe not!

So, pfffttt…. enough. I love you my cellphone but sorry… maybe mmmm we need to make a clear distance now.

Yes! I think everyone are also struggling by their own matters, their own “test”, but somehow our “new world” is insist us to always look okay! Look cool! Look “hey, I am more than you!”. If A is success, so I need to show I do better…. if B is having a bad day, so I need to show I am worse. Wait! Oh this is crazy. Life itself, at least for me, is not a competition. Because we have different problems, different starting point, and maybe different finish line. We are just different… our task is to be nice and kind to any other people, support between each other, not goin’ crazy to compare between each other. Huffft! THAT’S TIRING!

So, stop it. And I want to stop it…. I want to quit from this crazy society game, because it becomes more like a psychological games and it feels like Jigsaw asked me “Do you want to play a game?” of course no… not kind of this “game”.

So, I challenge myself that at least within this week, when I go outside my home, I WILL NOT bring my cellphone. But I will always bring my tiny pocket camera to take pics about what I saw. Also, I will write the update every day on this blog.

So, what I got without my cellphone today.
Surprisingly, many things… and it was fun!

The sky is good, some clouds… but today was so hot and it might be one of the highest temperature during this month. Tokyo was 34C and Tsukuba was 32C. But remember, humidity! Pfffttttt…. Japan is very humid during summer and I wonder at least it is one of the main problem of all Japanese during summer. So, the real feel of the temperature were in 35-39C. That’s crazy.

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Indonesia is hot, but when the humidity is high but, at least in my hometown, rainfall also very high. So, it is not really killing. Closer to equator area… of course it is also hot but it is more like “Grilling” you than “steaming” you like in Japan. So, Indonesian are still survive even if they don’t have air conditioner in their house. Mmmm… beside almost all of us also can’t afford the price hehehehe. But, it might be something you not really notice right about Indonesia. Yeah! Come to visit then.

Then, I started to wondering what’s wrong with me… why my productivity is decreased recently!?! WHY! Then I notice that one problem is MY DESK IS SO MESSY
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This is important actually… if you think you become lazier recently, you should check your desk and your home first. If they are messy, it will reduce your mood to do your work.
“But, I always messy… so it might be no problem for me”
Trust me, it is one psychology research. Well… while it is not bad to make everything tidy.
Yes, put your phone for a while and do your desk.

The result, I made up my homework from my Sensei (although I haven’t finish all yet),
I learn about agricultural economics,
I learn about R programming,
Well… that’s not really bad for today.
I wrote a letter for my penpal.

On the lunch break, I took my bicycle and go around. It has been a long time since I am not hunting photos around. I am curious how to take a good photo using a low-end pocket camera. So, let’s get it on!
I took this photo today….
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I think that’s one is so beautiful… I really love it.
I love the bee, the color of the flower.
So many beautiful things around, and it feels like I didn’t notice it before.

Are you feel tired to compare yourself with any other people?
You also welcome to join my diet 😀 hehehe…
I think it will be okay for the world waiting for our text reply a bit longer.

A story behind the foods: Mom’s love

Recently I interested in foods sustainability, and if you follow my instagram account, I also do a little campaign about sustainable meal which become one of FAO campaign this year. I also share my hobby in gardening.  I also share some books and literature about which books you can read if you interested by local foods. People said that you haven’t officially learn about food science if you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s books, so I complete my library collection with all of his books.

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I even cook! And share the photo to my friend on instagram. I just hate facebook and other social media, so I choose instagram as my fave media. I don’t really like cooking but I am living far away from everywhere! so, I cook. And I challenge myself to use local ingredients around me, and I make a small garden for several vegetables and herbs in order to boost my organic and low carbon veggies. And… I love it!

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If you already friend with me for quite a long time, you will know that I do a research about agriculture. I also food lover… one thing that I really hate is people who leave their foods… and sayin’ “Owch I am on diet” ARGHHHHHHHHHHH…..
you should know that on farm work is nothing but very complicated and tiring works.

From all the books, I learn how to find and choose the best ingredient…
I find how to reduce food waste…
I learn how to cook everything in a good well…
My cooking skill, not to be big headed, is increasing.
But no matter how good the ingredients, no matter how much my progress in cooking, I never be able to duplicate my mom’s foods. You can replicate every recipe, but never your mom’s love.

Every time I cook something, and eat them… enjoy them…. I wondering about what my mom already done for me and a whole family. Choosing the best nutritional intake for her child. She should make sure it is both sufficient both in quantity and quality. Choosing is easy if you have everything, but if we are in lower-middle income condition then we will face financial constraint. So, I wondering… my mom (and I believe, our mom) is not only a good chef, but also a potential financial planner and manager.

Then for me, talking about food now is more philosophical than before. It is not only about the hard work of the farmers, not only about the emission path,not only about how far the foods were transported until reach our dining table, not about awesome research written by Pollan and any other awesome writer and researcher, but also about how great our mom is, how great she is to provide the best thing for us.
Food is another tiny yet precious story about the struggle of a mother.

I wondering, if I never have a good mom like my mom… maybe there will be no today’s me. I remember, when my mom got sick, I become easily to get sick. I have a little problem with my liver and it was because I have no idea how to cook well when my mom was in the hospital. I will become nothing without her.

People said, never tell about your dreams to other people. But well, may I share a bit? Far away from home make me miss my mom so much, and I promise I will cook for her every time I am back home. Later, when I am lucky enough to have my own child… I also will cook for them, and that’s because some love no needs any words.

A story behind a snowy day

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“Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget…”
― Leo Tolstoy

Just finished my research presentation. In one word: “meh”
I thought it was a little progress, in fact? Nope… I still need to learn another bunch of text books and mathematical modelling.

“No, Marissa… you can’t use this one.”
“Mmm… you should modify all of the model…”
“Well, we should think how to construct everything further. Okay… forget this agriculture part and forestry, move on to the energy sector. Finish it first, one journal, then we construct for the agriculture and forestry”

.
.
.
.

“I can see your hard work, well… I know you can overcome all of these. We just need time and we have it, don’t you think so?”

The last sentence, at last,  was warming my heart in the middle of snowy day.

My mom said every person who has achieved mastery has started their journey to expertise by feeling stupid. By feeling green, you know that you need to learn more. To read more. To exercise more.
And I know that, understand that very well.

But, as an ordinary human, I also think “Oh come on, why it took so long for me to master this?”

Then sometimes, I started to complain… to make a question to God “Why you didn’t bless me mmmmm…. more?”
Silently, become more and more ungrateful human being.

Now, in this point, I realize something…
To be success in studying, you are not only need to focus learn about any specific subject…
but also you need to learn about patience
also need to learn about time management
also need to cheer yourself up when you feel down
also need to smile
also need to…. accepting your self.

In the end, it is more like a process to be a humble person. To learn that “Hei, you are not such a super human”,
to learn that we are not perfect, we will always do some mistakes, we need other people to help, and we always have a chance to stand up again and again and again every time we fall.
In the end, it is about a process to develop our maturity.

In my life, I am already got 3 new year cards from my professor… it means I entered my third year working with him, learn from him. It is my third year to study far from home, just bringing a huge box of my family’s dreams and hopes.
In these period of time, I never forget every single words they already said to me.
I believe, in a certain point in the future, I will make them smile and proud of me 🙂

I know I can make it, it is my promise… witnessed by the snow
absorbed by the earth…
Hopefully, delivered and heard to the God.

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

Enjoying the china town …

To be honest, I always love China town…
It is like you can find everything in China town 😀

I have an intensive class in Suzukakedai area which is very far from my house in Tsukuba. So I took a week days off from my office and decide to stay in Yokohama. What a great decision, while I really love Yokohama so much.

Yokohama always makes my camera gives its big smile. Yesterday, I spent my night to go around the Yokohama China town. I really love the light of China town on the night

Also the artsy building


Oh Gosh! I really really love it… I think it is really refresh my mind, and remind me with my hometown in Bogor, where we also have “Suryakencana”as our China town.However, Chinatown in Japan (maybe) different from any other chinatown in another country. It is very clean and tidy and I guess not as crowded and noisy as any other Chinatown in your country.

I also love to found lots of unique shop around 😀


Hahaha…it is fun, but mmm… maybe as a person who always love cute stuff, it is considered not healthy enough for my wallet hahaaha.

“Smarter Indonesian marry faster”, really?

I don’t understand why but there is always random person who come to me and ask something or just do a random chit-chat. Except to my family and best friends, I am very quiet, so sometimes I am impressed by people who started conversation to me. But, I am not in a mood because I need to prepare my presentation, and as I told before I need to recover my health. I should cook healthy meal, have a healthy lifestyle, and warm my room so I can recover fast.

Tadaaaa… then I got a short chat from someone tonight. About what? About marriage. It is not my first and second time people talking about this thing with me.  So, he shows me a recent study that people in Indonesia, whom more educated, marry faster.
Mmm… so I am not really educated Indonesian because my only boyfriend is my fat fluffy yellow cat in my home (he has obesity problem now, so my brother always bring him to do some exercise :p I still love him). Because I am lazy to write about it so I simply made a comic strip to describe our conversation.

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It is worrisome about Indonesian health condition.
Whenever you go in Indonesia, they will be proud “We are so healthy and strong, although there are lots of street snacks mixed by textile dyes, formalin, borax, etc.”

I remember when my mom entered hospital, there was also foreigner from Japan who entered the ICU after ate meatballs :’D Of course, in Japan everything are clean and hygienic. I am not kidding, you can see me as an example, I feel good but I am sick inside. You should be very careful to choose street snack in Indonesia.

So, are Indonesian healthy and strong? Not really, our life expectancy rate only 65-67 years old. While in developed countries it is already 70-80 years old. Here in Japan, you can see elderly above 80 years old still healthy and do their activity as usual.

I don’t want to debate my nice friend but, I have another two points to criticize:
1. Making conclusion in scientific research is not easy, especially in social science. You need to consider every cause and probability. So, be mind about that.
2. I am not an expert, but marriage…. ah marriage. I think people should marry when they are ready, not because they are lonely, or because they afraid of sickness in the future. You want to make someone happier isn’t it? So, I think if then I decide to marry someone, it might be because he can persuade me that he can make me happier, and in the same time I am ready to make him in better off condition, it is about a long term commitment to be friend forever. I am not sure this “heart” things can be quantify by statistic or any quantitative research.

However, if you already love someone, you ready, kindly marry her/him, be happy. When you really in love sincerely with someone, you will have no reason to leave them 🙂 trust me…