Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No Going Home

There is no going home.
There is no going back.
There is no same place.
In fact, even tomorrow is different.
The next several seconds are different.
The moment you breath in and out are different.

The city that you left is now different despite the same name.
The people in it are different.
The temperature is different.
The sky line is different.

Nevertheless, you're different.

Instead of going back, you're moving forward.
Instead of going home, you're going to a new place where new adventures await.
Instead of same routine, you're exploring every new chance that life offered in every second.
Instead of thinking, "It's over," you'll be thinking, "Oh, there's another door."
And instead of closing the book, you just add them up.

Because, my dear friends, life is not simply hopping back and forth. It's rolling forward no matter how you try to replay your history.
Because, my friends, what we wish to be eternal, will always be eternal and will keep adding up.
Because, my friends, we have learned how to treasure the present.

Just like the grass that will keep growing upward no matter how passionate you cut them.

...In fact, they may still grow despite you pull them out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Man of Steel

For those who are worried about spending money on watching the newest Superman movie on 3D or IMAX, don't worry, it's totally worth it.

At least that's how I felt after my 3D experience. As you know, due to my poor eyesight, I had to wear a prescribed glasses under my 3D glasses, which didn't bother the fat that I enjoyed the movie.

Superman movies have been remodeled and twisted way more than we think. Big screen movies, TV shows, cartoons, you name it. The blue tight costume with red cape that is also shifting along the movement of the Superman phenomenon. For me, it is.

I used to watch some of the Superman cartoons in CartoonNetwork and slightly enjoyed the highly morale, wisdom, quirky, and randomly hunky Clark Kent/Kal-El followed the movies before this newest one, with that Brandon guy as the actor. As always, he was good looking, had beautiful eyes, more like a model than your regular Daily Planet reporter. Well, I guess working in Daily Planet will either make you a supermodel or a superhero. My latest response to the previous Superman movie was that I pretty much enjoyed it (and him) to the extent that I collected pins of the movie, and I still have 'em now!

Superman movies are always (so far, for me) complicated. If you follow along the cartoon storyline, it was pretty simple and pretty child-like plot. In movies, they have to make the plot progressively interesting and unpredictable yet made the audience longs for more, more, more. The people that are involved in making them always try to find ways to make their own version special and different, one of the reasons why I found them complicated.

The previous Superman movie--I couldn't recall the title--was basically about Superman coming back to his Earth life after leaving behind Lois Lane and basically his world. I forgot why he came back, but when he came, Lois Lane apparently had gotten herself married to someone and had a little boy. Storyline went on, I forgot most of them, but they did have some kryptonite scene where the Superman got stabbed by it. And I think Lex Luthor was the bad guy. And apparently, Lois Lane's little son was actually Superman's son. Wonder how and why.

Time goes on, Christopher Nolan--producer of Dark Knight series--and Zac Snyder--director of 300 (which explain why Russell Crowe played in this movie)--decided to come together and made another DC superheroes movies that hopefully will turn out as good as the Dark Knight Series. They casted Henry Cavill as Kal-El, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El. And the main antagonist is not Lex Luthor--yet. It's General Zod--or however you write it.

Henry Cavill--to me--turned out to be a quite suitable Superman, he sometimes looks like Christopher Reeve--probably the hair. He has this good looking and naive and quiet vibrant from his personality and you totally can see that during his Unscripted interviews. For a visual show, I'd rate ten out of ten for his good looking and charm, although he looks slightly weird when he smirks or smile, but he's still good looking, and not skinny at all. Hunky piece.

The story line slightly confused me, as again, this is a different twist of Superman plot. They showed the origin of sending Kal-El away, his natural parents, the planet's destruction, etc. Then it immediately hopped to a new timeline where Kal-El/Clark was an adult, living from place to place to hide his secret and also to help people out. Nearly three forth of the plot is about jumping back and forth through Clark's life and his struggle.

I cannot say that Henry Cavill is the best actor to play Superman, though. Although he did tremendously well, I know that for some reasons, there are scenes that he just didn't know how to portray it as a Superman. I mean, I myself cannot really imagine how Superman would react when he figured out or met his parents, or meeting Lois Lane for the first time, or losing someone that he loves. At this point, I feel like Superman is pretty emotionless about it.

One thing I love about the main villain is that he's not evil because of his pure lunatic and antagonist nature. He holds certain values and dignity to the extent that he committed such crime in order to hold what he thinks right--which I think some people should learn from. I'm gladly happy seeing him lose but won't feel bad about seeing him coming back, which I don't think so.

Amy Adams played quite a great Lois Lane, although I felt just enough curiosity out of her, which I think, if you're talking about Lois Lane here, she's depicted as someone who's full of eagerness and curiosity like a child, pretty hyper herself. Amy Adams portrayed Lois Lane as a composed, slightly stubborn, caring companion for Superman. Which is not bad. 

If you're asking for reasons why you really should watch another Superman movie--other than the great actors in it, I can mention some. Go for:

The great visual effect
This particular movie has a terrific and sometimes scarily tremendous visual effect of the super fighting amongst the Kryptons. They just had a wonderful job on processing the movie that I enjoyed every little bit of the scene in it, especially the rough parts. They exaggerated his flying, his punching, everything. Totally worth to watch, I couldn't even describe.

Epic sound
Or music, you name it. It just added a sense of epic-ness in the movie, whatever the plot is. You feel like you're watching something that is historically important.

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe
Uh, did I already mention about the actors and actresses? Oh, by the way, Kal-El's natural mother, Lara, was so pretty as if she does come from Krypton.

Superman's epic hair
You'll be left wondering for the whole movie: why on earth is his hair not moving at all? One of his trademark, I guess.

Dumbfounded people in the end
This is always the major question in any Superman show: why people cannot even realize that Clark and Kal-El are basically a same person that's different because with or without glasses? In here, Lois Lane is the only one who realizes that he's the Superman, and nobody does. New guy in the Daily Planet, they said. And how come, with even his charming glasses face and hunky body shape, nobody has no crush on him, other than Lois Lane? This is the best question ever for Superman.

You'll want more
This movie is more like a historical documentary of Superman's life. The cinematography of the movie is so family-friendly and nostalgic and you felt as if you're looking into someone's memory, with human eyes instead of the camera shots. You jus beg for the second and third ones, just like what happened to Dark Knight.

Christopher Nolan with his epic visual effects just like in the Dark Knight and Zac Snyder with his marvelous massive way to give out such a hysterical effect just like in the 300, who would not want for a second one?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Congratulations, freshly-Graduates!

The hype of finishing high school is basically everywhere. Despite the fact that I couldn't graduate along my class both in Indonesia and America didn't affect the fact that I'm truly thrilled to be part in the graduation ceremony, although I couldn't be part of the graduation ceremony in Indonesia.

Seeing (most of you) smiles for this somewhat sacred ceremony made me think about what I have graduated myself from. My exchange year. All of you both busy preparing for college, exams, and so on, and us--the exchange students--were busy preparing our departure, getting along with people, getting busy, fulfilling projects, and lastly, preparing to go home.

Despite the major difference of what we're graduating from, there's no doubt that we are finally going to hop in to the other doorstep that will bring us to the other adventure. No, I mean, literally. It's like getting off the toilet seat (I couldn't find a better example). No matter how comfortable you feel, at one point, you have to get up, flush it, go out from the bathroom, and start doing different things.

And that's how's life going to roll. Because in the end, the warm toilet seat that you deeply enjoy will eventually be uncomfortable, the warm, hot shower will start to suffocate you, and the bathroom's temperature will start to go down. And when you finally decide to move on, people around you will notice, that you are committing yourself--ready or not--to the new adventure, by smiling in that stage, receiving your diploma, maybe take some edgy pictures while shaking hands with the principal--made you feel more important once in a while--go down and smile again for the same of your mother's camera, and slowly but confidently, walking towards your seat.

And, and, despite that your moment of importance only lasted for not even five minutes, and now you were seated back to the same seat before you had your moment of importance, just realized that life is changing as easy as walking down the stairs. Life is even changing although you're still sitting on the same seat. And life will not ask your permission to change, because it will roll on, and on, and on.

Whatever that we just have gone through, just one of those small roll-one that is happening in the present soon-to-be past. We may want to make it last longer by taking pictures with friends, having special dinner or whatsoever, fine, do that, but do realize, no matter how hard you want to keep that moment of importance, life is changing. 

And all you need to do is stir where it should go. To become the important present that you valued once. To become the now that you always brag about. Most of all, to be excited of what always happen, that what used to happened.

Anyway, this rambling is mostly because of my excitement of graduations everywhere. For those who are graduating for any educational institutions, great job in finishing one of your great adventure, hope you'll do great in the next adventure, as always. For you, my dear exchange students comrades, congratulations in (nearly) finishing your yet-another great adventure. Another blank book is waiting for us to write, sketch, ramble in it, as that's what exchange students do--we make epic stories. And we mad our present epic, too. Good luck ahead!

For Denisse, Adrian, Jaki, Davidson, Sarah, Sharon, Laura, Pavel, Morgan, Nick, Josh, (another) Sarah, Lena, Tatyana, Cortney, Briana, Kylie, Marshall, Kristen, those whom I can't mention since I'm so terribleat remembering names,

For Ayu, Manda, Khodi, Lidya, Irin, Abduh, Ocha, Ayudew, Tatwadhika, Dika, Erysa, Yoan, Tasha, Jo, Maudi, Adit, Deandra, Dita, Kiput, Muthi, Syifa, Endah, all #fiesta, #simaung, debaters,

For all Class of 2013 around the world,

And especially for you, my fellow exchange students,

Have a (yet-another) great adventure!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

I wrote this as soon as I arrived home after watching the movie. Okay, before I wrote how I think about it, I need to confess...

I read the summary of the movie in Wikipedia before watching it. Well, some. 

BUT! Nonetheless, it's not like I understand the synopsis that much, there were just a lot of things going on I couldn't even process it clearly. But surely, that kind of messing up my expectations. And I truly regret the fact that I took a peek.

Anyway, personal opinion: KYAYAYAYAAYAYAYAAKHAAAN
I might be one of the die-hard Benedict Cumberbatch fan... Well, not that much. But I'm eager to see him in any kind of movie. I've watched his depiction of Stephen Hawking and I thought that was brilliant. Of course I've watched Sherlock, like, duuuuh.

Okay, need to stop fangirling.

About Star Trek, I just started watching it when they made the new version of it, with Chris Pine in it. Not that I like Chris Pine (well that's true, though), but I am not that well associated with space movies, so when they started having the new version and I was happened to be around, I started to follow it. And to frank, I might like Star Trek way better that Star Wars (also due to the fact that I don't follow Star Wars at all).

The first Star Trek movie, I felt like it was okay-good-great space movie. Especially there's quite a lot of dilemmas in it, but basically about building relationship. Well, I don't remember the first one that well anymore.

The second one... Umm, how should I put this, since I kinda took a peek (curse you inner temptation!), I was slightly guessing while enjoying the movie, which totally ruined me. Although I'm still pretty happy about the movie, but if only I didn't take a peek...

I felt that the movie was sort of like an on and on problems and questions going on. It was slightly confusing in the middle, since I couldn't really figure out who's helping who and how they're going to end it, and whether Benedict Cumberbatch is the main evil guy... Nah, he has that evil vibe, so it must be him. Sometimes I felt like in the middle, it was slightly like Bond's Skyfall, where the evil guy also surrendered only to destroy from the inside. Sort of.

Going along the whole movie, you kinda have the idea about how each problem will be resolved, for example how Khan will be defeated, how Kirk will be saved, how Spock will see the world, how (everything else) because the answers were there. This is the type of movie to amuse and amaze you and to make you want to go to aeronautics so that you can join NASA and probably if they ever thing about doing stuff like Star Trek, join their starship, too.

...at least it made me think that way. For the whole entire movie, I couldn't stop cheering and "kyakyakya" the whole time. Pretty embarrassing.

For the enjoyment that I had during the movie, I would rate this movie 4 stars. Because again, it amazes you about how complicated space life can be, and that's it. Benedict Cumberbatch also played along pretty well, although it's quite hard to separate him from his Sherlock side, and you do sometimes see that side of him. And I surely miss his curly hair in Sherlock.

And! They also gave away a possibility for the next movie, that's what so good about this, Star Trek is sorta continuing from one to the other, but it's still an individual adventure.

Seeing Star Trek kinda reminds me of the UN.

OH! I got Khan's poster, too!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guidance to Taking Courses

Education system around the world is different, that we know for sure. As a student who spent her life in a staying in class education system, I'mpretty accustomed   with uniforms, having same classmates for a year, seeing the teachers come and go, taking a praying break during lunch, and most importantly, having your schedule being dictated by your school. I know I want to write about how the differences in school are pretty crucial, but that's not one reason why I wrote this post.

So as some people may know, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the 2012-2013 batch of YES exchange student program from Indonesia to United States of America. Some part of myself believe that it was not lucky, it was a long journey full of effort and dedication after nearly two years of patience and competition. It was a tough competition between me and the scholarship: which one is way better than the other?

But anyway, time passed by and here I am now, enjoying some ofthe last   weeks in America, and literally the last week of my American school.

I wrote this post in hope that it can help any future exchange students that are going to attend an American-system school in picking classes during their stay, one of many reasons is to not repeat my errors.

1. Determine first whether your school system is using yearly basis or block (semester) basis
Now this is very important. If you don't know the difference, first you have to know how America's school system works. Basically, you get to choose you own class. Yearly system means you will have the same classes for all year long (which usually you will take 6 classes), and block system means you'll have 4 classes for the first semester, and another different 4 classes the next semester. Now in my case, I had the yearly system. That's when it's very tricky in choosing class. When you have a yearly system, you have to be very careful of what class you're going to take, because you'll stuck with it the whole year. In my opinion, when you have a yearly system, you kinda have to give up fun classes that you were thinking of taking, or limit them into just one classes. It is true that during your exchange year, you'd like to try different classes that your country doesn't have, but keep in mind that you need to exercise your mind before coming back home. Some of us will go straight to college (or college entrance exam), and as for my case, I will go straight to my senior year and preparing for our end of school's exam and university exam. Which is crazy hard.

Now, if you have a block system, good for you! Although you may not have that many classes for each semester, now you can just balance it out! You get to take classes you want to try and the ones that you feel like will help your brain exercise. You probably can pick two fun classes instead of one!

2. Exchange Class Policy
One thing to be noted, whether you get your school schedule before you arrive on the country or just know it when you arrive, go make sure whether there's an exchange class policy that some schools have (including my school). What it means that during the first 25 days of school (basically fthe first one), you are given the chance to change classes as you wish and it won't bother your report card. Now this will help you a lot anytime you feel like the class is too easy and it doesn't help you exercise your mind a lot, you can change it to a harder class. If you think the class is too hard, consider this first: is it because the difference of the language that makes it hard or you just simply think that what they study in the class is hard (like, you also have problem with the same type of class in your country?). If it's because the language, just bear with it for several weeks, you'll get better at it. But if it's because you have problem with the same type of classes in your country you might want to consider taking similar classes that are a bit easier, or just change. After that 25 days policy, anytime you change your class you will probably have a zero for the previous class for your previous quarter, I think. Some schools have different policy, I guess. But that's what my guidance counselor told me when I was going to change a class. So be wise!

3. Determine your English level: is it okay? Good? Or you barely survive?
If your English is ranging from good to okay, you may want to consider taking harder classes such as Math, Science, and etc. instead of cultural arts or language. It's not that I regretted my cultural arts class, in fact I love my art class so much that I wished I could bring my art teacher back home, but some of my other classes were made for either freshmen and sophomores--which mean it sort of teaching you from the beginning. If you feel like you have an okay to good English, choose classes that will eventually help you going back to your country, especially Indonesia. You may want to consider taking Honors classes (means that students who go to this class are a bit smarter than most of the school and the level of study that they do is a bit harder, more challenging, but also score higher than the usual grade) or AP classes (the classes have the same quality for college classes, and if you tak the AP exam, you can use it as a credit for college). But if you feel like having a really good English, you may want to consider just taking regular classes. But still, pick the classes that will exercise your mind the most!

4. How's your school back in your country?
You also need to use your homecountry school as reference. Are you in a quite top-notch high school? Does your high school has a pretty high standard and it's hard to get in? Is the level of classes in there is high? Or moderate? Now based on that, pick the level of classes from regular, Honors, to AP. If you feel that your school is just okay at studying, you may want to pick regular or honors classes--recommended. Usually in honors classes, most of the kids are those who did pretty good during their school year, so you'll get to hang out around students who do good and probably encourage you to study more. If you feel that your homeschool is quite high standard, you may want to consider honors-AP classes. Now in AP classes, only certain people who do very good in their previous classes will be allowed to take the class, because the setting of the class is using the same basis for college class, although it may be a little easier. Students who are in AP classes are usually from honors classes, too. You may get a little problem in the beginning, due to language. But after that, you'll do fine, and you get to hang out around people who have at least the willingness to study and a better class environment.

5. You'll find friends anywhere you go!
One of my regrets is that I considered the people I get along with instead of classes that I'll be needing. I thought, "Well I'm just going to be here for a year, so it didn't matter what classes I'm taking, if I feel comfortable with the people in it, I can bear the class." Wrong! Well, it's true that it is very important to be comfortable around your classes. But please do consider the quality of the class as well. If it (or the teacher) frustrates you, despite the fact that you're having good time with your friends, you may want considering changing classes. You'll find friend anywhere you go, don't let only that factor affects your decision.

6. Take US History and English!
As in my exchange program, we are obligated to take those two classes. Being in America, taking its history class will help you a lot understanding the personality of the nation. Also, there's many cool stories about American's history that I would have never learn before. With the way of how teacher's teaching in America (you see them every single day), you'll gain a great understanding about US' history. English, in some way, may be one of a quite harder class despite of it being honors or regulars. But in this class, teachers will help exercise your mind in taking notes from passages and help you with your writings as well--one that I need so bad, because I love writing.

7. Take Pre-Calculus or Calculus instead of Geometry and Algebra
I took Geometry because I thought, since my senior year back in my home country will be studying some of geometry and I'm not that good at it, taking it here might help. Slightly wrong. How the class system in America is that they will basically teach you the very basic of a subject, in my geometry class, I learnt from the beginning about definitions of shapes and forms--instead of going straight to problems like we used to in my country. Now I'm not saying that it's bad, but it may not help you as well. See, many of Pre-calculus and Calculus materials will be used for my exams in my country, and that's why I should've taken that class instead. Despite how much I enjoyed being part of the class, I'd still rather take a harder class to help me remembering the weird integral, functions, and so on. Now, if your American school starts using that Math I, Math II, Math III type of class instead of Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calc, you may want to take Math II or higher. The Math type class is more like Indonesian-math class, where each of everything is fused into a one year program.

8. Take classes that you know you have trouble understanding back in your country
Now, some people might say don't do this because then it'll mess your mind about the subject. But I personally think that, with the system of meeting your teaching every single day, you will get great help understanding the classes that you used to having problem with. If I were given the chance to pick classes again, I'd take Chemistry and Physics, just because I feel like I'm not very good at those two subjects so I need a better insight on it. Use this chance to expand your view about the subjects that you didn't really like or good at.

9. Take Art!
I dedicate this for my Art teacher. Go find out about the art class program in you school. If it sounds interesting and you never did it before, take the class! Or stay in the class! I was fortunate that I had such wonderful art teacher and I was able to explore my art interest in watercolor and clay. You better try it, too!

10. Language class is an okay option.
If and only if you think that you will have some slots left after taking the important classes, you may want to consider taking language classes. It's not as recommended as my art class, but if you have the chance, you can consider taking it.

11. Do a sport!
Rather than taking physical ed. class, you may want to use the remaining slot for classes that will help you, and join a sports club instead! You'll get the chance to feel the real American tradition through its sports, too. And meeting new people, new friends, perhaps new family!

I could not think of anything else that I need to share regarding on how to choose classes in America's school system. Basically these are the main points you need to keep in mind while choosing a class. If you ever have any question, feel free to ask!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Have You Achieved?

This late Wednesday, I decided to finish some usual stuff regarding my exchange program. Some (last) monthly surveys, a presentation, and so on.

And I stumbled upon this particular question:
"What are your accomplishments during your exchange year?"

Well, now, that is hard, I told myself. Are you expecting me to count every single things that occur during my exchange year and count them as accomplishments? What are the criteria of accomplishment itself? What you would consider as an achievement and not?

I was stunned, for several minutes. In fact, for those several minutes, I thought that I just lost all of those passionate dreams that brought me here, to the land of the ambitious achievers (not that my own land is not an ambitious one).

For some moment in your life, there are times that you think you're pretty clueless of what you're doing right now. What you even want. And there will be time when you started to doubt yourself. To doubt the fact that you are capable, you are what you think who you are.

And there will be time when you stop counting what you've achieved because you'd think that, "No, that is not an achievement."

And I did stumble that thought. The fact that I was pretty clueless for several minutes gave me a hard slap on my face on how I nearly felt that I didn't accomplish anything.

I might start rambling about silly things that I would consider as an achievement because I didn't want to look bad on myself. And I started to worry about how I have wasted this whole year just for being an American instead of an incredible human being that can change the world.

And here's a fact: I did, and still change the world. Not because I wanted to sound cool nor to feel better about myself, but without my existence, lots of what happened in yours wouldn't be there in the first place. Now, this might sound a bit narcissistic, but again, I did.

 Most of us are busy thinking about what we have done in the past and what we will do in the future that we--most of the time--ignore the present. I just started reading a book talking about Zen--a way to calm yourself--for SAT. Yes, It might sound weird but I am taking the SAT, just to test myself, and to take myself a step ahead in life. I presume.

But anyway, this really cool book teaches me to recognize the existence of the present first. I don't fully agree with the whole present statement because I'm quite a visionary individual that likes to know that there are indeed possibilities in the future and I'd like to make my way to them. But things only matter in the future and only in the past that we cannot really touch without doing something to our present. What we envision will remain as a vision, what we regret will remain as a regret. And then we just forgot that, what happens now, only happens now.

This might sound confusing, but my main point is that,
I totally disagree with the prompt of asking what is your achievement. What happened in the past might be as important as your visions, but again, nothing matters more that what you're doing at this moment. Because none of those will matter to your life. This, right now, is what matters.

And you shouldn't be asking "What have you achieved?" but instead, "What are you doing now?"
Then I will gladly answer, "Appreciating life in a thousand ways and being amazed with the vast perspectives of random people."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recesky Twin Lens Reflex Kit

My Sunday project: making a Recesky Twin Lens Reflex camera. After a struggle with the shutter knot, I finally finished it with the help of SUPER GLUE!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nine More Weeks

...Actually, eight weeks and six days more.
Before I actually leave United States. Leaving the status of being a KL-YES 2012-2013 exchange student.

Before, I never actually think about the difference of going back home. Because really and truly, deep inside, I am positively believing that near in the future, my life will revolve around the world. Literally. And I am ready to make it that way. That's why I want to be an exchange student, to become a part of the world itself. The universe itself. Although it may sound very dramatic.

And yes, again, I was never paying attention to the fact that there will be great changes in my life, soon. Just like several weeks before I was coming here. I wasn't paying attention at all, that something's big was coming. Same case here.

But then, last Thursday, was the last home game for our softball team. Basically, the JV team is released from duty and the Varsity has to focus on the conference game--the real battle. And I just realized that during the game.

As for being the last home game, we held our Senior Day--which is a thank-you ceremony for the seniors and good-luck good-bye party for those who are going to college--which was also awesome. Shockingly, the coaches told me to go in line as well, as a honorable mention for being part of the team. I got a box full of chocolate and bubble gums inside a plastic bat. Because of the short notice, I didn't even tell my host mom to come--because I didn't think there's a necessity for it. My coach as well as my homeroom teacher was walking with me instead, because she didn't want me to walk alone.

After the short ceremony, our varsity team played really well and won against the guest team by 15 to zero. In some ways, I felt like the game was pretty okay because the guest team was not that very good either, so it felt like we were really dominating the home plate. But then, that's a beautiful score for a Senior Day game.

Then, when it came to the end of the game, I just realized that, that's it. That's the only day I would probably be ever wearing my softball uniform again. That's probably the only day I would actually come casually as a softball team member. No more going home at 6.30, no more going to concession and buy some Snickers. No more getting out of class earlier. No more bringing bat and gloves to school. No more dressing up because it's a big game day. No more asking them whether we're going to have practice or not. No more stinky socks after game. No more changing in the locker room. No more catching, throwing, or batting with the same girls I used to. No more getting tan. No more snuggling up together to fight the cold, windy night during the varsity game. No more screaming, "You got this, babe!" or something else. No more bees in the dugout--wait, NO more dugouts. No more Coach Norman, Coach Lemcool, Coach Seligman, Coach Jones. No more smelling the grass of the fresh-cut field, or the wild flowers that shyly popped out on the field. No more bruises of getting thrown at.

No more of that.

When I just realized, "This is indeed the end". The fact that I won't be as busy as before stung me a bit. I won't be doing these stuff anymore. I won't be doing the same kind of activities as I used to anymore.

The fact that things have slowly changed pretty much scared me, because no matter how hard I tried to neglect the effect of changes because life is about come and go and come again, my life has slowly changed, and it's approaching the rear end of my journey as a KL-YES exchange student.

But not as an exchange student. This journey is just the tidbits of the beginning as I am just starting my whole adventure as an exchange student.

Yes, people. Eight weeks and six days.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What did they think?

What did those people think when he said that it was that race's fault for all the suffer that their nation had?
What did those people think when he said it was their fault that they lost the war, it was okay for them to take the blame, it was okay for them to be pointed finger at?
What did those people think when he said they're not supposed to be on the earth in the first place?
That they should be exterminated in the first place? And that his people--us, he said--are just doing a good deed?

Did he tell you with a soft, persuasive voice that none can even think otherwise?
Did he grab your hand, shook it firmly and said, "With me, brother."?
Did he hug your shoulder and said, "We can do this together."?
Did he smile at you, a smile that you remember seeing from your father when you had your summer holiday several years ago?
Did he make you feel that you are indeed superior?
Did he give you what you've always wanted before?
Is that it?

And when it went like he said,
What did those people think when they heard the painful roaring from innocent people who didn't even understand their fault in the first place?
What did those people think when they saw a man slowly crawled on the ground, seeking for a dip of water after days without one?
What did those people think when they saw bodies being stacked one after another in a hole that was dug as if it was a trash hole?
What did those people think after seeing emotionless and soulless faces of corpses that slowly burnt down in the crematorium?
What did those people think when they saw those humans hugging each other and muttering, as if there's no hope in tomorrow?
What did those people think when they saw a child as old as theirs rolling his body to fight the cold winter, and suddenly he stopped shivering, or even breathing?

Did he come to you and say, "They're different from us."?
Did he come to you and hand you over some extra money to buy your child a birthday cake?
Did he hug your little boy and say, "You're a proud father."?
Did he give you what you think is yours?
Did he actually make you feel that the world you're living in is actually true?

Save the Orangutans

So, I was helping the Earth Day celebration in Kathleen Clay library last Saturday (April 13). When I said helping, it was picking up chairs, tables, helping out some cool exhibitioners, and taking a walk.

It was very interesting because I got to interact with some groups who are focusing on reshaping their environment. For example, I was very interested with the trash system in America, like how they have two types of trash bin that are literally being processed differently. It'd be super cool if Indonesia will ever apply that.

And then I stumbled upon this "Save the Orangutans" table. Even before the exhibition started, I was already interested with the hanging orangutan on the entrance without knowing that it... I mean she was actually a property to one of the exhibitions.

I told the exhibitionist that I used to live in Borneo and I was born in Sumatra, and where I used to live, Orangutans like to come by with their children within a seeing-range. He got very excited and we chatted about some stuff. I asked for his email address in case I can suggest him some conservation spots for Orangutans in Indonesia if he ever wants to visit.

Seeing a booth about Orangutans touched my feelings very much because there are actually people who care about Orangutans even though they never see one. Even people as far as Americans who actually care about animals whom they never see before. I suddenly felt a familiar feeling, a feeling that usually comes when I see an orangutan back in my backyard.

Caring about something is unlimited. You might even love something that you never even see before, fighting for someone whom you never even knew personally before. And that could mean a lot to people who actually have the personal connection with it. Like me.

D-Day Prom

Here's a short somewhat recap of what happened during D-Day of Prom, which was Saturday, April 13th 2013.

Me and my host sister found two couples who were very nice and pretty close to us that we're nice enough to grab us to join their circle to the prom (in exchange for taking their pictures, which I didn't mind at all). On the same day, earlier before prom, I had to volunteer for my Environment Service Learning Group on the library's Earth Day. I stayed from 9 till 3 in the afternoon. Something very touching happened during the Earth Day and I'd explained that in the later post.

So, my hostmum picked me up and we went to Target to get some foundation. Apparently it's so hard for me to find a right foundation because of my skin color and the sensitivity. Gladly I found Neutrogena Honey beige foundation. This Neutrogena brand is focusing for special need skin,no for those who need a foundation but doesn't want to encourage more pimples break-out, you might want to consider Neutrogena, even for regular use.

After taking a slight, fast shower, I was ready for the battle. Yep, battle with make-up. To be frank, that was my first time ever dressing up and putting make-up for a dance by MYSELF. Gladly it turned out to be pretty decent, for me.

Then it comes to the time when I have to put my dress on. And oops. I got two suntan line on my shoulders that were pretty visible because of the Earth Day. I was laughing so hard because now it looks as if I'm wearing attachable sleeves.

Then, matter comes to the hair problem. I'm so used with my short hair that now, since I have this length of hair, I have no idea what to do with it. Time was ticking so fast that I was going to scream in my hostmum's bathroom. My hostsister tried to help me with curling my hair but I was so scared since she put it so long, my hair started to feel like it was burnt. I decided to take the matters by myself. Time was still ticking, when our friend finally texted us that his date was still taking care of her hair as well, so he's adding extra 30 minutes. Fyuh, extra time.

I finally took my hair problem to an end and it looked pretty decent, again. At least that was my first. And I wasn't sure if I'm ever gonna do that again.

We finally met up in a quite pretty park, I took some of the two couples' pictures and my host sister's pictures as well. After spending some time in the park, we decided to have dinner in Olives Garden, some sort of an Italian Restaurant.

It was a very nice yet too much dinner. Our friend volunteered himself to buy the appetizer (although my dinner was an appetizer as well), which are salad and fluffy breadsticks. They're delicious but just too much! My main supper hasn't even come yet.

I ordered a Lasagna Fritta, which is basically slices of fried-breaded lasagna which is very good. But since I was very full, I only ate two of them. Three I gave to my friend who gladly accepted it, one I handed over to my host sister. The whole table were planning on ordering some deserts, and I'm pretty glad that all of us were really full.

We decided to go to our prom's place with one car, it was 9.30 already. Since everybody was so full, the car was pretty quiet. To be honest, I had so much fun already that I thought I'm okay with not going to the main prom.

After arriving in the prom place, I was pretty puzzled. I am not a party person, but if I ever had to come to one, it's probably an after party for a week-long conference or meeting. But this prom, it was dark and it was not that big. Not to mention, not so many people in it.

Some if our teachers were there as well, chaperoning. My favorite art teacher was there and I was so happy to see her there. We took several pictures together, and then the song was changed. I kinna like the song, so I decided to go to the dance floor and "exercise" a bit with my host sister. But then the song was changed again, and the scenery became... Pretty disgusting.

When I said disgusting, it's disgusting for me, personally. It's not that kind of hugging each other slow dance kind of dance, but it's the girls in front-boys at the back type of dancing. And they were all over the place. Even girl to girl, those people who didn't bring date. I guess that's what they called as "grinding". And it was... Disgusting.

And awkward to see. I went back to the spot where we sat, which is near my art teacher, and I told her it was so awkward. She laughed at me and she told me that it wasn't like that when she went to high school, which is several years ago.

I even spotted the guy who once asked my phone number and texted me if I ever wanted to hang out with him or whatsoever one day. He was dancing... Pretty bashfully that I converted my eyesight as soon as I spotted him. Eew.

We stayed there until 11.30 when we decided to call our hostparents to pick us up. Most of the people were still dancing crazily and awkwardly on the dance floor when we left, and frankly speaking, I was glad we finally left.

After that night, I felt pretty glad that I went because I got nothing to lose and I got things to gain, although some of them are bad ones. But I enjoyed it pretty much, especially our picture and dining time. It's worth a try, although you won't lose that much if you decided not to go.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


We've been thinking about this for the whole week, perhaps two weeks.
When I said "we", it's me and my host sister.

I am never a party person. And I hate wasting time at place that I know I won't have fun at all.
So we're trying to gather up some info from our friends whether they're going or not. Most of our friends said they're not coming.

And I was very bias at that time. What we're going to do if none of the people in there we barely knew?

Then I tried to ask some other friends and coaches, and they said I should go. It's worth a try. It's WIH the ticket. If you don't like it, you can go home (that's what my host mother said).

And we already bought the dress anyway.

So tonight, the last night for prom ticket sale, I was ambiguous. I was planning on knocking my host sister's door to ask and briefly tell her what I was thinking about the matter, when she suddenly knocked mine.

"I have the answer," she said briefly. And I knew for sure.

That she's going to say yes.
Slightly, I felt a relieved feeling passed through my heart. I told our host mother immediately so that she could drive us to the ATM to get some money.

For some people, deciding this matter is no problem at all.

But for me who values time so much (although now I'm wasting it through blogging), this was a big deal.

I felt like I just successfully made a decision between college or two future-boyfriend candidates.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sports Photographer

Today was a wonderful, rare chance for me. Our JV softball team didn't have any match, but the varsity had one. While cooling off under the shed, I spotted a man with hits fancy camera and big lens. I have taken interest with sports photography lately--right after nature photograph--because if the speechless expression that you cannot even describe, or that magical moments when someone slides or do some crazy stuff.

My coach told me to gather up my courage to talk to him, but I felt like I might disturb him. I decided to talk, though. He was very nice and he actually had two Canon cameras with Ultrasonic lenses. Yes, the fancy, super duper long lens. I told him that I started to take a liking to sports photography and I took one during a track meet. He was suddenly so excited and immediately asked me, "Wanna try to shoot?"

I was... Speechless.
Me, shooting with such camera? It's gotta be crazy!
I asked him several times if he was really sure about it, and he was just laughing. He asked me whether I'm gonna be here or not next year, because he'd like to coach me to be a sports photographer. I told him that I had to go back home, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pursue sports photographer as a hobby as well, and I'd love to get some of his advices for it.

So, I got some shoots that are not as good as his, though. I was using his Canon EOS1 DS Titanium or whatsoever it's too long with the 200 lens. It. Was. AWESOME.

He complimented one of my pictures although I cannot really see it on the screen.

He gave me his name card to get in touch through facebook and to see some of his sports photography pictures.

I nailed the day! Even though I left 5 home works today (but I made it to school since I redid them again), I felt really energized and excited. Yahoooow!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When Someone Told You

"I love you."
Or maybe "I like you."
Or perhaps, "I really care about you."

When a person whom you weren't growing up with,
Who doesn't know about you getting naked with your childhood friends in a bathtub when you were five,
Who never knows that you got stung by bee several times in a month that your friends started to call you 'honey',
Who just randomly knows you from one of your new colleague,
Who just happened to pass your favorite bookstore when you were there,
Who doesn't understand the origin of your hatred towards snake,
Or your affection towards lions;
Who hasn't listened to the playlist you're growing up with,
Who doesn't understand why you hate purple so much,
Who doesn't know how to treat you when you're crying,
Who were pretty careless on your next few accidental meetings,
Who never understands your obsessions with old books,
Who never understands why out of all places, you chose to stay in this city,
Who never realizes that you barely drink coffee or tea, but you adore orange juice so much that you bought the full box of kiddy-size orange juice boxes,
Who doesn't know that you care about your weight very much because you don't like buying new pants,
Who only thinks that you care about your weight because you don't want to look fat,
Who doesn't understand the reason why you hate wearing skirt,
Who doesn't understand why you didn't shave your legs,
Who doesn't understand why you're so eager on buying a pair of old, used duck boots,
Who doesn't know that you had a crack on your skull when you were nine,
Who never knows that you actually own action figures,
Or a person who just has no idea about your life,

Tells you that he/she cares for you very much? Love you? Like you?

A person who's pretty clueless of who you are.

When someone told you how much they care or how big their love is for you,

It feels like someone just opened birdcages right behind you, with hundreds--no, thousands--of birds fly towards you, pushing you forward. Their feathers tickle you as they pass your cheek, hair, arms. Not to mention, they're chirping right at your ears, giving that sweet feelings of calmness.

Or like eating a mouthful of your favorite sweets, in my case, Key Lime Pie. It just melts inside your mouth with that classic sweet and tart feelings, it makes your cheeks puff for several moments that you feel like you were gaining bunch of extra pounds just in your cheeks alone.

It's like preparing on doing a bungee jumping. You're either excited or scared. A possibility of very rushed adrenaline that makes you happy, or a possibility of a broken rope that send you straight to your death. Your gloominess.

It's like picking up college major. You're anxious and curious, also excited. You never know which one to choose, how to be in it, how to act for it, what's best for the future. You're slightly afraid, but still curious. You feel like this very moment should just stop so you don't need to think about it further.

It's like being pulled inside the water and you eagerly swim back up, widen your nostrils and mouth once you touch the air. It consumes your whole body's oxygen. The idea of dying has come to you and it makes your heart beats faster, and it makes you glad that it's over, that you can breathe normally now.

It's like having tons of butterflies inside your stomach and they're trying to get out, which is hurting you yet it's also ticklish.

It's like touching the cold sea water barefooted for the first time. It's shocking and cold, but then you get used to it, you started to move around because you're comfortable with the water.

And you know it's different. Because that person is not your parents, nor your siblings, not your cousin, nor people who used to express their caring feelings for you.

It's just different, because all of the feelings that you body contained when a person told you he/she loves you.

It's probably much more closer than you think. Yes, those indescribable feelings that made your world turns around? I bet they come as a person told you, "I love you".

And you'll never know from where, when, and why it's coming.

I guess so.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Live Skype with @binabudbdg

As always, like the past couple years, my dearly beloved Chapter Bandung held its annual Open House for exchange programs. They served a lot of informations about being an exchange student, experiences, and simply motivation.

It's probably one of the most fun day out of all volunteering work with them, and again. For two years in a row, I cannot participate. Physically.

So for this year, they gave me a chance to do a live Skype video call with them. Which is won. der. ful.

Like I always tell people, I cannot stop smiling while doing a video call, which is referred as "cengar-cengir". It was (gladly) a short call since I started to get sleepy as well. But it was pretty fun. Kak Vitara asked about my very first memory in America, which is the difference of driving direction that drove me crazy in the first time. One boy asked about bullying, which I answered that I never really see one, I guess that's because I always choose the good friends to hang out with. Kak Bije asked about my weight, which I told her that I gained 5 kg. NOOO I hope no one remembers about the bet of not gaining weight.

Another boy asked about shopping, which I thought he was asking about shopping food. But then he asked about shopping clothes,NAND I told him about the wonderful things of shopping in the thrift stores. It's just like a treasure hunt, you'll never know what you'll find!

Kak Irin asked whether I already performed some Indonesian culture in there or not (she's referring to my Bali dance practice), which I haven't. Yet. I don't know.

Another asked whether I have a boyfriend or not. And I shyly shook my head. There are people, but I rejected them, okay?

Lastly, Dion asked about school in America. I told him about the exchanging class, fun events that they often have, and classes that I take.

Surely, it was a great conversation. I'm glad I was able to make a quirky--ups, quick--video call.

Thank you Chapter Bandung! I love you very super duper much!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Just had one of my best Skypes ever with a great friend who moved to USA. She's a very wonderful, open, straight-forward, and funny person, even at the beginning of the chat, we laughed at ourselves already.

I couldn't express the happiness over the video-call other than writing, so I dedicated this post for our long talk after such a long time.

Nice to hear you laughing again and hope to meet you anytime soon, Rafi!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bladder infection

So yeah, after my Plantar warts, another illness bugs. As I have googled the symptoms, I'm pretty sure it was bladder infection. But then I thought, like some other illnesses I usually had, it would go away pretty easily.

But just like my plantar warts, it seems that it won't go away unless I go to the doctor.
Since spring break is up and we're planning on going to Tennessee and the mountain, as soon as I told my host mum about it right after my softball practice, she drove me to her usual doctor at the Walk-In clinic. After waiting nearly an hour or so for the doctor, I finally got examined. Examined in here like, being questioned and stuff. Not some other weird examination.

One thing that made me quite relieved that night was that the doctor was pretty good-looking, for an India-looking doctor. I was quite happy about it, haha.

Nonetheless, probably from all of my life, my exchange year is the year that I got most of weird illnesses with me. I sure got a lot of memories from them. It's funny how I got it in America, out of all places.

Welcome to America.

Monday, March 25, 2013

#9 Complicated Handshake

For you guys who have lived through Indonesian's common childhood era, most of you will probably be familiar with various different handshake games that we used to play at school, along with the songs.

The first time I came to America, I was amused by the variety of handshakes that random people do to each others. Well, most of them are friends though, but they're still random to me.

And it's funny how they're trying to teach me how to do those different styles of handshakes, that sometimes each person differs from the other. For example, for a particular person, you like clap-clap-bump-clap, and others like clap-bump-clap-clap-sshhh (I have no idea how to pronounce sound effect).

And it's very amazing when you see in shows like The Voice, sometimes the judge and the participant just randomly do the handshake and they're so corresponding with each other. As if both of their souls were made for each other.

Oh well, this just amazes me.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

#8 Huge Portion

No kidding, the portion in America is indeed really big.
Most likely because most people in here grew up with a bigger capacity than us living in Indonesia, perhaps.

But the great thing about it, you can order kids meal which is basically a smaller, much more Indonesian-like portion food. And if you order kids meal in Chick-fil-a, you'll get a free toy or a free book that you can trade with a Dream Cone, a better, healthier sundae in a cone. Yum!

#7 Using tissue in toilet

I know for some people, it's weird to use tissue instead of water to clean yourself after using the toilet.
And for Americans (or probably most people in the world), using water to clean yourself is weird.

Their reason of saying that it's weird because you're supposed to feel "dry" after using the toilet, and the fact that you wet yourself with water for cleaning purpose doesn't make any sense.

But here's the thing. You don't clean your body by simply using towel to yourself, right? You need to take shower, to use water to at least clean your body. Sometimes you can even dry your body without towels, which is quite weird. But you get my point. You don't clean yourself just with tissue, because basically even your body realized that using water is way cleaner than just sweep the sweat away with towels.

Me? I use both.

#6 Paper Towel, Tissue, Toilet Paper, Napkin

What are the common among all of those?
All of them are basically just TISSUE. A freakin' tissue.

The first time I came here, I remember my hostmum asked me for a paper towel. At that time, I thought she literally asked for a towel, like a towel that you used in the bathroom. But then she showed me the tissue that is quite thick, the kind that you usually use to drain oil from your cooking.

And then there's toilet paper, the rolling tissue that you used in the bathroom.

And Tissue, the regular tissue that you usually use, but it normally comes in boxes, so that kind is called tissue.

And napkin, a prettier kind of tissue that you use when you're eating.

And all of them are basically just tissue. The same thing.

#5 Big Soda Can

I know this might sound pretty useless, but still.
Everything in America is big, even the soda can is big.
One time I saw one of my classmates brought her beverage to class. It was tea in a can, but the can was like two times the size of a normal Coca-Cola can.

Still, this thing amazes me.


"You look very different every time you don't wear your glasses. It's like a different person. When you wear it, you look like this cute little girl who likes to study and very serious, but when you take it off, you look like this sexy woman. Totally different."

My hostmum commenting on my not-wearing-glasses appearance today.

Friday, March 22, 2013


It's not that I got pick-pocketed or something.
So one day, I accidentally showed my nearly five years old, quite damaged wallet to one of my best friends in America. She was so curious about it, she even opened it and looked at my Indonesian debit or credit card, I have no idea.

And suddenly she said, "Hey, since you're coming back to your country, why don't you leave me this wallet?". My first reaction was shocked not because it's very bold for her to ask for my wallet, but it's very weird for her to ask something that I have used for years that even my mother asked me to buy a new wallet because it's so damaged and--as they said in here--rachet. Although it doesn't really look nasty or crazy, like what the internet slang means. But still! How come I give my very close friend a wallet that I've been using for years that the leather inside started to crumple down?

I told her about my concern giving her that wallet since it's too old and the leather is crumpling down, but she said she didn't mind at all. In fact, she liked collecting stuff, even though it's old.

Now I have no idea how to react if she indeed meant what she asked. I'd be willing to give it away, but giving a friend an old wallet?

I don't know.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


So, yeah..
In case nobody knows, I love Japanese manga pretty much, as much as conspiracies stories. And it's pretty hard to find a good story nowadays (since most of them are bubbly-silly romance story), so I decided to browse back old good mangas, which then I stumbled upon Gokusen.

Basically the story was about a fresh female high school teacher who's actually a heiress to a yakuza clan. The story revolved around her life trying to be a good teacher in an all-boys delinquents school.

The manga and the live-action movie have a slight difference, since in the manga, the main heroine actually ended up with one of her students that was the hero of the story, but in the movie, they didn't really say whether she ended up with him or not, although there's a lot of scenes of both of them building the relationships up together.

So, on this Sunday afternoon (until night), I decided to scan some of the episodes of the live-action movies. It turned out to be Yukie Nakama and Jun Matsumoto who are starring the story as the teacher and the main  male student, respectively.

I'm totally hyped up with the story line because it's pretty unusual, and to be honest, I've watched this before, it's just I never really pay that much attention to it.

Anyway, I enjoy pretty much watching it and seeing how pretty Yukie Nakama is and how handsome Jun Matsumoto (after all of this time).

Fangirling mode off.


Dang it, Gokusen is just too damn cute!

-Me, fangirling.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

#4 Quick and Mobile--Everything is Fast and

As you probably know, America is famous for its motto of being independent, fast, and efficient. All of the fast foods, the services they have are to serve the purpose of having a very beneficial life.

I am not a big fan of fast food, rarely eat in it although I gain weight anyway. But I love their phone system. They set a service where you can even fill money to your phone through the customer service and they will bill it to your debit or credit card, and it doesn't cost you any money, so in case you in need of phone money yet you can't go anywhere, you can just call them and they'll do the work for you.

Somehow I wish the system in Indonesia is as easy as in America. Sometimes, though.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


To be frank, after the unexpected Plantar Wart (mata ikan) incident, I am a bit traumatized with the possibilities of having foot problems, that a slight hurt on my toe had caused worry and discomfort. WHAT IF I GOT ANOTHER ONE THAT IS WORSE? That's what I'm worried about.

Coach's Perspective About Cat and Dog

"See, dogs, whatever you tell them, they'll do it for you. They're that best-friend type of animals [Just like Hachiko the dog]. If you tell them to fetch the ball, they'll do it for you.

But cats, they're like the total opposite. They're like your average teenage girl who refuses to do anything you (as a parent) wants. When you sleep, if your cat wants to play with you, it'll come to you and growl and scratch you until you wake up. It doesn't care what you do, it only cares about the cat's own desire."

Not always, Coach, not always.

#3 Drink from the Fridge is NOT Cold

First time I came here, I was so stunned when both of my host parents pulled tea from their fridge and then put ice cubes in it. I was like, "Isn't drink from the fridge cold already?" And they said no, you should put ice cubes to make it cold.

I wonder if I ever do that in front of my mom, she would probably shouted at me and say I'd get sore throat with that.

I still don't get the idea of putting ice cubes in the already-cold beverages.

Another weird thing is the fact that when my host dad was sick (he coughed and had flu), when I asked him what would he like to drink for dinner, he said he wanted tea with ice. I bluntly said that it's weird how you drink cold beverages which is not good for your throat (and your heart, apparently) when you're sick, and I told my host mum about what my family would do to me if they saw me drinking ice when I was sick.

They'd probably gone crazily mad.

#2 A Very Different Politics

I was pretty shocked the first several weeks I was in America. FYI, the time I came to America was when they had their presidential election (and all of the campaigns as well). At that time, the candidates from GOP (Republican) was Mitt Romney, a successful businessman who was currently a Governor in Massachusetts, and from the Democrats, Barack Obama, the first African-American president who was trying to run for a second term

The first time I saw the campaign, I was confused. The whole campaign was talking about Barack Obama, but then in the end of the campaign, it stated "Vote for Romney". The same thing applies to Barack Obama's ads. I bluntly asked my host dad why on earth both candidates are showing the other candidate's picture but then said vote for them.

And it turned out that almost all of the political campaigns was about booming the other candidate's negative points, mudsling as they called it. I was pretty shocked the first time I knew about it because that was really uncommon. In Indonesia, since the candidates were plenty (we have more political parties than in America), most of the candidates are busy to sell their pretty lies to the public, busy creating good image for the future president. But in America, the competition was so tough and so limited that they don't even care about good images anymore. It's about who's the worst.

Well, at some point, not bragging about lies is probably a good thing. The public wasn't deceived with their good sheep wool that they put on their wolf thick skin. But for me, that was pitiful enough to see that people can publicly attack another people.

Probably that's the reason why our culture is so different with America. We, Indonesians, are raised in such culture where politeness and gratitude are held high, respecting people comes first, and so on. We are growing up to be people who don't like to attack other people from the front, but most likely from the back or slowly from the front. We are raised to be patient, I guess.

America, on the other hand, is a country where free speech is supported, and most of the people in it are free to say anything they want, so easy that they can easily sue people whenever they want to for a simple matter. You know who your enemies are and you can freely attack them without any hesitation of the result. Americans are raised to be combatants, I guess.

But again, I cannot say that either one of them are better than the other. Or either one of them are worse than the other. That's just how both cultures diverse so much that you can even see the difference from the political perspective, which I thought won't be so much different. Well, I guess I'm wrong.

#1 No Age Difference

This is the most common one I found so far.
You guys do realize how in Indonesia (or most Asian countries), we refer older people with some entitlement or whatsoever. For example, you put -san or something like that for formality in Japan (right?), or put Bapak/Ibu or Kakak to older people both formal or informal.

As you can see in most Hollywood movies, you can refer to older people without any entitlement, although it's only for informality. But still, I will  never ever call my grandma just by her name, I'd most likely get spanked.

In some circumstances, this is pretty convenient, because then you have no age difference and no social expectation of how you should act. You can treat anybody equally without any hesitation. You can be anyone you want without worry of the entitlement. You can work with anybody with any superiority (expect when it's pretty obvious). I do enjoy this because I can refer only by their names to some people that I know.

But then, for me, being raised in such Eastern manner, I feel that the way of giving entitlement or honor to certain people made my life more secure than having it as free as it is in America. Referring to older people with entitlement made me feel that I have respected their life or at least put an awareness for myself to pay attention to my behavior around people. Even though some people might see the entitlement as a bad way to socialize, for me, having someone refer to you with title make you aware of your common obligation as human. It made me straight and respect people the way they respected me.

Like someone told me before, you don't need to be taught how to be naughty or bad because it gradually comes within you, but you need to be taught how to be nice, tolerant, respectful. Being free is okay, according to any human rights that are stated in this world, but respecting and showing gratitude is another form of taking care of yourself. I think.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Some of the girls in my softball team keep saying how cute and warming my voice is. Some of them even complimented that I look cute on the Friday's dressing up.
This might be one reason I don't want to go home. Nobody calls me that way in Indonesia, haha.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

If Vampires...

Tonight, after dinner, my dear host sister was discussing about what if vampires are real. I went upstairs a bit earlier so I didn't know how it got started, but when I went downstairs, my host mum was still talking to her and she pulled me into the conversation.

"Dina, I'll ask you, do you think vampires are real? I think they don't, because they won't have soul, thus they're not real or..." my host mum said. I didn't really remember what she said, but the point is that she didn't believe that it's real because they'd be soulless. It doesn't really make sense but I got what she meant.

I said that I don't know whether vampires exist or not, because there's a lot of these mutations cases that happened, but if there are creatures that have a similar specs with vampires, I'd say that we cannot see them with the same glasses as we see human beings. Because no matter what condition they are, they're not human. They're another kind of animals that we called "vampires", which sounds fancy especially after the Great Vampire Wave that hit us these past few years. I was not joking.

My host sister then asked me again, "Just what if? If they do exist yet soulless, how can they thinking and have brain and do other stuff (most likely she's referring to Twilight Saga)?"

Here's the problem, I told her. From all the depictions that she knew about vampires, the most likely she'll pay attention is from Twilight Saga, which is her favorite series. I have no offense with that since I kind of enjoying the first book as well. But for me, it's absurd to see vampires as seeing humans. And that's hard, I know. While most of the stories in Twilight Saga is about how a used-to-be-human vampire tried to be good and other stuff, for me, the idea of vampire is another inhumane creature that you cannot even categorized it as human.

We, human species, are animals, and vampires themselves are animals. Orangutans, for instance, are animals. Thus we should be seeing vampires with the same mind as we see orangutans. Her way of thinking is that vampires are very close to humans thus they have minds and other stuff, it's just they're not eating normal or having normal strength. Or normal cell and normal classification, if I must make it clear.

I gave her another comparison, human and orangutan. The problem why we can't see the difference between vampires and humans is because they are physically like us, or according to most book, they also talk like us.  But no matter how similar the physical appearance is, we still cannot say vampires are close to human. Then we should say Orangutans or Chimpanzee are close to human as well. But our mind disregarded that, because they are not physically look like us. Thus, when you're talking about vampires, don't refer them as soulless or mindless human because they are, in fact, not even humans.We're doing some injustice here if we refer vampires as human.

And after finishing the rough topic about this, I figured out that there's no correlation between what each of us was talking about. I was babbling about how you cannot see vampires like humans (well now it makes a bit sense) and she was babbling about WHAT IF vampires exists. And to be frank, I have no clue what her real question is.

End of the dinner discussion.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Some people have things that they're in concern with.
For me, gaining weight is a concern.
It's not about getting flabbier or whatsoever.
But it's about how lazy I am to get in shape and exercise.
Who knows what those extra pounds might cause me in the future.
So yes, I am quite a weight freak, because I like staying in shape.

For anybody who feels bothered with me being concerned about gaining and losing some cholesterol.


Hai uni,ini adek
Apa kabar,adek baik-baik saja.
Adek masih gak tau mau apa.untuk adek mending kasih sesuatu yang tidak ada di indonesia,supaya kadonya surprize aja,tapi jangan buku atau sesuatu yang gampang dicari dan kado yang unik.

Email pertama dari Adek. Terharu sungguh terharu.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fake It Till You Become It

So, here's the short summary of how my life has been for the past two months in 2013, in America.

As some people may have noticed--or not--I made it to the Softball Junior Varsity team, which was pretty weird. I never played "formal" softball before, and seeing my name on the list... made me felt a bit happy for the effort I tried to put into things that I do. But at the same time... I felt slightly disappointed because actually I was indeed ready not to make it to the team. I was ready and won't have any regrets for it since I already tried how it felt to play softball even though not in the team, and ready to enroll to the track team--which didn't come true.

There was a slight disappointment during my first several practices, but overall, I think I started to overcome it--which I will explain later.

Also, important event on last February 18th, it was my host sister's 18th birthday! Having her 18th on the February 18th, isn't that sweet?

Basically, yeah.

Talking about my softball experience, I speculated for several reasons why I got accepted into the team. One that occurred to me is the fact that I'm an exchange student. Realize it or not, being an exchange student has somehow given some people that privilege to join new stuff--mostly because the prestige of having a foreign student in a school activity will sure give a really good image for the club's diversity--although that was just one of my skeptical concept of exchange student.

As a mere human, I love being treated special. Humans try to seek different things that they can think of that make them different from other humans in the world, to think about how the world actually revolves around them, to be selfish and self-centered. That's why those superheroes movie appeared, to make you feel proud of yourself, not being left out or normal. Nobody likes to be called normal, to be honest. We're the unique seeker, we hates similarity.

So basically, I love the fact that I am sort of one step ahead in life experience from my friends in here, America--although that is not necessarily true. When you become an exchange student, you just feel like you have those privilege, even though it's not stated for you. We're like little babies again, there will always an excuse to make mistake, because we will prevail.

But I hate it, after nearly seven months in here, the fact that I actually was afraid whether or not my coaches picked me merely because I'm an exchange student or because of my determination. You never know whether they really want you or not, and that bothers me. That scares me, to be exact. Because by then, nobody will ever take me seriously for anything that I did.

Gladly, I'm starting to ignore that. There's more things I should have been thinking about.

To be frank, this might be my first time doing team sport with all girls in my life--as I can recall. Even when I used to play basketball, since the girls were so few, we played with the boys as well. When I was swimming or in karate or in tennis, it's always mixed. It kinda shaped my paradigm about how hanging out with girls sort of scaring me since girls are like a back-stabbing knife. You never know what they're thinking about, how they see you, because probably they're not as frank as boys, but most likely, it's because I'm a girl and I know what girls do--which scares me worse.

I might be a friendly person to say Hi to, but I am not  a many-friends person. I get along with people who understand my philosophical views of life and those heavy stuff, instead of random life problems. Most girls that I know talk about random life problems, and only few that actually have the same interest as I do. So when I first played in the softball work-outs, I was as quiet as a breeze. Because I was slightly afraid with the pressure from the ladies that I have no idea what they're thinking about. Again, so far I'm pretty separatist, which I need to work on getting rid of it.

Living under that social fear sometimes made me feel like I'm not myself. I felt like quitting it and go to a much more diversed club so I won't have the same awkwardness with the all-female team. I got distracted by the matter pretty easily and I tried to seek answers.

Humans like to relate coincidences with their life, because we want to feel that the whole world was made only for yourself. As I was googling around some TEDTalks vidoes, I found a video from a speaker whose name started with Amy, and she was talking about body language.

I found this video very interesting because gradually, in the end, she explained about getting fit into a community. She told us story about how she had to "fake" acting like the students in her college until she actually become the student of the college.

See, this actually confused me a bit. Isn't that the way for you to grow is to love where you are and to find who you are, not to be someone else? Isn't that fake till you become it means that you became another person's personality?

Here's how I take it. Achieving success in life does not come by doing what you want to do since the very first beginning. Or shall I rephrase it, start off with passion ONLY. Like what I've written on my English essay, Passion can make your life lively but you cannot live ONLY with you passion. Because world does not actually revolves around you, or even if it does, you will have people who think you are the center--that's how they need you so bad.

By saying Fake It Till You Become It, you have to adapt first to endure the pressure and any obstacles. just like employees in a company. You have to adapt yourself with the condition in order to survive, like Darwin said, survival of the fittest. Then when you have got on hold with your surroundings, you know where you're going, you started to turn things the way you wanted to, because you've learned. So basically you're not losing yourself, it's just you need to put lots of effort to actually gain something. Because again, living is about give and take, because when you sacrifice your effort, you'll gain what you deserve.

So for every one time I was depressed because of the fear being surrounded with girls in a team, I always have a reason to swipe the thoughts away by the fake-it theorem. Because that's one way to be successful in life, you just need to explore more.

*At this point I was so sleepy that I'm afraid I will doodle with it.*

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tick Tick Tick

The sounds of the raindrops this morning.
Sitting while listening they dropped slowly,
And turned into a massive nonstop instrument that cannot stop dropping.

Oh, how I love listening to it.
How I wish I can run under it one day.

Ad then the sound stopped.
Waiting for a moment.
Gathering its friends, to come together and fall down together.
To nurture the land and fill it with fresh water.
To nurture my soul.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ten Things I Believe To Be True

1. Being independent is very efficient, especially when you used to it.

2. Organizing money is really hard.

3. There's too many questions about the universe that popped in my head this moment.

4. I am multitasking but the only thing I can't do multitasking is eating and doing something else.

5. Scott Wood is awesome... So far.

6. Having plantar wart is no fun at all. Better go to the doctor as soon as possible.

7. I am gaining weight.

8. Doing softball doesn't really help burning my calories. But it does help me learn more important things about life.

9. I rarely clean my room, but when I do, I am perfectionist.

10. My list seems to be too complicated than it should be.

I'm taking Sarah Kay's tips to make list.

Oh, Oh

I said I dreamt about it last night,
And I saw you.
What a world of coincidence we live in!

First Love

Today was one of the most beautiful afternoon for the whole summer season. You just knew it when the sunlight calmly hit the trees, their shadows covered exhausted human who could never stop playing. All the water was sparked everywhere, making this sparkly kaleidoscope of the sun. I was so ready to play.

Everybody was gathering in the park, especially the youngens, including me. These past few days were the hottest day in summer and everybody couldn't wait to play on the free water fountain that the city provides for summer. Everyone was so eager to wear their bathing suit and jumping around to every holes of the water fountain, waiting to be blasted with the cold water to swipe away sweats. I did both jumping around and taking memories--pictures--of this wonderful summer time, in fact, I probably have these kind of pictures for the past eight years. Since in elementary school and until now, college freshman.

Coming back to this small city helped me regain my nostalgic childhood. No matter how far I have lived or traveled, coming back here always make me feel like this is home. Staying at "home" has never been my thing, but coming to home always excites me. Especially when people who played a big part in your childhood life were also there.

My very best friend, my siblings, my seniors, all of them were also coming back for the hottest days in summer break. Some of them were still stuck in the city, collecting their childhood memories while they can, some of them already flew away and tried to make it back for couple days.

People who came to the park during the summer hottest days are probably people who have nothing really worth to do and wanted to kill some time. Most of them--again--are these youths that just went back home for holiday. Our older citizens don't like hanging around here and seeing children getting wet all over the place. It made the whole place slippery. Although there are some older citizens that came and just enjoyed watching us being a kid again.

My hometown's management is such a unique one. They attracted people by providing lots of free activities around the park for those people on break who have nothing better to do than daydreaming. They provided us free art tools, philosophy tutor, psychology tutor, all of the odds. Just to pop an idea in our head. Sometimes those tutor made an interesting theme for us to write, such as "A dream that you think is impossible and why", and something like that. We are odd people, and we like odd stuff, and I still have no reason to explain it.

Today's theme for the writing class that most people took before playing on the park was "To the person whom I never get a chance to give this letter to." It was a fun and huge class, nearly 50 people came in to write. I was so proud seeing the attendance for the day since it's my Mom's class as well. She seemed so happy standing in front of the willing students who chose to write instead of wasting their summer break. Although some of them just went out and played. Again, a way to kill time.

I decided to write a letter to my late teacher. She passed away several months ago and I have missed her so much. There were lots of things that I really wanted to tell her and I even once told her I will ask my mother to let me bringing her to my hometown for her novel reference. She wrote such a wonderful book about children, I cried when I realized that my philosophy teacher was her.

Finishing the letter, I ran outside with my friends that just came back from their school outside the town. We always have a chance to meet up every summer holiday, and we do enjoy being a child every year. I was wearing a surfing top and a baggy short and jumped right on the fountain. The water wetted my hair and my face, giving us better breeze for the hot weather.

Then I spotted him, and his friend, absolutely. All of the childhood memories came back in one piece, I was stunned for some moments back then. Both of them were my seniors back in my school. They're probably juniors in college, I think. Ah, what a nostalgic moment.

My friend dragged me to the fountain again and squirted her water gun to me. I nearly had no chance to surrender, so I told her I'm running to buy some drink for us. Then I was running passing them. He was very into the paper that he hold, while his friend was just looking around when he spotted me. His friend waved hand at me, and I waved back and ran to the vending machine. While he was still into the paper. I wonder what paper was he reading.

The warm afternoon sunlight hit me. I still remember the same feelings, the same memories. He was my very first love, when I realized that it was called love. I was in third grade of elementary school when I first had this uneasy feeling of being uncomfortable around someone and I thought I had some psychological problem. My heart beat so fast that I thought I had an heart attack. I told my mum while crying out loud and she once also thought I was sick. Then, on one fine afternoon, while me and my mum were walking together, he passed me running. I told her again, my heart beat so fast that I felt like it skipped a beat when that senior passed me, and she was laughing so hard, telling me slowly that I was "in love". Unless my mother's term of "in love" is not universal, I just realized I was in love because my mother thought I was.

And I googled it. How it feels to be in love and other stuff, I was so embarrassed when I read the definition of love that I couldn't see his face for a week without skipping a heartbeat. After that, I paid more attention to his gesture, his expression, his hobby. He's one of the reason why I love investigation.

But then, that first love only stayed by itself in my heart. I thought not revealing your love is normal, so I never wanted to, because I was so afraid that my heart would literally stop. But then in his last year living in town, he professed his love to his friend, the pretty girl with curly hair. I was there at that time, and we were all clapping for them when they finally got together. I told my mother again about it, about how my heart now feels like being stumped and punched and squeezed I hardly can breathe. She just tapped my head for it. That was when I realized I had my very first heartbreak.

"C-klank!" The drinks fell from the mending machine. I eagerly grabbed it and ran back to my friends who were taking a short rest. I passed him and his friend again, but this time I didn't look at their way. But I noticed that now, both of them were looking at me. I could feel the heat on my back, for no reason. It's been... What, four years since I had my first heartbreak? I don't know.

We decided to take a break of the fountain, so I used my time wisely to take some memorable pictures. I am the girl of memories, especially when I can make a sequence of same memories over time. I like having that full collection of the very same day each year.

Smile, smile, laugh, frown... Wait? I looked at my object. It was him and his friend. He was frowning while his friend was laughing so hard. His friend waved again at me, so I waved back. I decided to act cool and walk to them just to say hi, a courtesy of childhood friends.

"It's been a long time since I see you guys!" I said with excitement. Most people thought I have no worries at all since most of the time I was being excited about something.
"Yes, we don't see each other very often, do we?" A familiar yet different voice came out. It was from him. My heart skipped a beat again.
"I usually come here on these days every summer break, I never see you guys here around this time, though," I was confirming. It was them who never came, not me.
"Yeah, most of our friends have errands to do at this time of the season, so we usually decided to gather up in the beginning of the break, but now we can come on this time," his friend was explaining with excitement as well. I just smiled and tried to laugh, covering my nervous heart from his tender smile. He was smiling as well. My heart skipped a beat again.

We talked about usual things, how's their school, any plans for the holiday, what summer classes did they take, how many people from their year came. Normal. Yes, it's normal, right?

"So you're saying you're in my mother's class a lot? She will be totally happy!" Indeed, my mother is a happy woman as she can be.
"I took some minor philosophy class in college and it was fun, so I do enjoy it so much," he answered my question. I smiled, trying to cover my shivers.
"I heard from your mother that you're in the veterinary school? That is just awesome!" That was sincere compliment. I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but my family was sort of opposing it. And I think I was glad they opposed it, since it's probably just a swing of interest.
"It's fun, you should try coming to the summer class," he said earnestly. His friend told me later that both of them went to the same college, but different major. Then both of them are minoring philosophy class, and they met each other again. I still remember how both of them were clinging to each other, which was quite weird for boys. For me.

"Do you think today's class was interesting?"
"Yes, I love writing letters, and Mom always comes up with different theme every class," I said excitedly.
"I know, I enjoy your mother's class so much. Whom were you writing it to?" His friend bluntly asked.
"My late teacher. I might leave the letter on her cemetery when I go back on campus. Who are you guys writing to?"
"My sister. She was on duty abroad, so I couldn't see her nor give this letter to her. I might have a chance, but I don't know, I just feel like writing it to her," his friend answered.
No answer from him.
"Oh, I haven't finished mine yet. The theme today... It struck me really deep," he was chuckling, although I am sure he meant it. I didn't really mind not knowing, so no problem.

After several chit-chat, my friends were calling and that's time for me to go back. I waved at him and his friend, telling them how nice to see them again and hope we can bump into each other one time.

I was smiling the whole time, my body felt warm and I was wondering whether its because of the sun. Maybe my heartbreak was not that severe after all?


At 4 PM, for the whole week, we saw each other, and for that whole week, we greeted each other. I told my mother about him and his friend and she was excited as well. The more we meet each other, the less nervous I got, and it's good.

I have come to a better term with them that now I can joke around and play. It was less awkward than our childhood times, because he's always with his surroundings, and I was always with my surroundings. We were like two fish groups that run for different bread pieces. Now, we're just youth.

His friend decided to grab a drink. Now it's only two of us when I saw him carrying a bulky letter that seems like a letter. I asked him cheerfully, "So, you finally finished your letter for that class?"
He was stunned. "Um... Sort of, yeah."
"It must be a wonderful letter, you thought about it so deep. Will you give it to the person?"
"I don't know, it should be a letter that I will never be able to give to, right?" He got the point.
"You know the reason why my mother decided to choose that theme? She once told me this, 'Sometimes it's so hard for you to say something to your important person although you want to. Sometimes you have to take the step slower, and not many people like having slow progress. I did that theme to one of my college class one day, just to at least giving them chances to say whatever they want to their most important people. Letting them to write it down on a piece of paper, one day, sooner or later, they will have a courage to give it to that person, because all of the feelings inside cannot be contained, and with the letter itself, you have the courage for not being alone.'"
He was quiet for a moment.

"Thanks. I don't know, though, I might give it, but I felt like this letter shall not ever be seen."
"That's sad, I'm pretty sure that whoever you wrote that to will be very happy to accept your very well-thought feelings. I would," I was ensuring him. He just smiled.
"No you won't, if you see the content of it, none would probably be happy about it," he was chuckling while holding to it. That chuckles seemed pretty devastated to me.
"Then why don't you let me read it?" A shocking challenge coming from my mouth, I nearly shocked myself.
He was shocked for a moment, but then he relieved his face and laugh at me, "You won't be able to get it from me." And I knew he meant that. He's way taller than I am, and stronger, of course.

I didn't know whether he meant that I should not read it, or it was a challenge for me to get it. But I hate being challenged, especially in such childish matter. He might get angry with me for reading it, but such a pitiful man who didn't even have the courage to at least hand over the precious letter to his precious present just saddened me. Everybody should be happy, and the purpose of writing the letter is to give us courage, to be open about something, and he's lucky enough that the person he wanted to give it to is probably still alive.

I jumped to the seat and grabbed his letter from his hand so fast that he was stunned. His face turned blue and he ran after me. I was just laughing for being able to grab the letter. It was just like childhood. The seniors were playing prank with me and they grabbed the hat that my grandmother gave. I was so irritated that I jumped over them and grabbed the hat, leaving them stunned. He was also there, probably shocked as well.

He was calling me to stop, and I was just chuckling while trying to avoid him, when I noticed his messy handwriting on the top of the letter.

To whom it may concerns,
The young, fine girl whom I fell in love with but never got a chance to say a word to, and ended up breaking her hearts.
No, breaking my own heart.

They kept telling me that my junior liked me. A girl just one block away from my house. We played together occasionally, me with my friends and her with her friends.

I enjoyed playing with you. Although we are two years apart, two different kinds of friends and groups, I noticed you as soon as you were there. The short twinkling hair that seemed like it sparkled in front of me. To most of my friends, you are a kid (although all of us were just kids back then as well). You and all of your friends were just kids--younger than us, less superior than us. I see you as a girl. And I felt silly for feeling that way when I was just a fourth grader child.

If somebody asked me to write about things I have noticed from you, I would probably make a hundred lists of it.

The way you stroke your hair (still the same until now).

The way you laugh when it was funny, cheesy, a horrible joke, or a joke that came from your friend or people you don't know. All of them are different.

Your habit to climb the school tree.

How you hate being challenged.

How you proudly tell people about how great is your parents or your sick brother.

How you were smiling when you fell off the running track and your knee was bleeding.

How you always braid your hair on Mondays.

How you always refuse to get help on carrying the books because you're the big sister.

Boys are not supposed to pay attention, that's what my father said. But when we do, we pay attention with care. He kept telling me that if I ever look at a girl as a girl, when I realized how their hair smells so different from ours, their cheek seems redder that ours, their hands are getting smaller than us, and how we can just squeeze them with one single stroke of hug, pay them great attention of care. Because we're not supposed to pay attention like girls pay attention to us.

To whom I may never be able to give this to,
Growing while watching you growing as well left me behind with possibilities. Most of the men in my class probably don't pay a lot of interest on girls, like I do. They pay more attention to fancy stuff. But for me, they started to look cool and wiser when they have someone they loved dearly. They pay attention. Just like what I do. But we're not supposed to show it off, because my father said we're not girls.

But I thought I was old enough to tell you that. I was old enough to come to you bravely and professed what I called love back then. My mother always says that honest man is a knight. I want to be your knight.

But instead, I was afraid of the response. I didn't know if honest man is ready for the bad possibilities as well. I didn't know if being a knight means I have to accept whatever the result it. I thought I was ready, and you were the one who weren't ready, I was blaming it on you for being younger and childish--although that is just a mere assumption. I was afraid that you didn't take it seriously, because you're younger.

And I should have been a knight instead.

To whom I may never give this to,
I made a huge mistake by choosing what people think the best for me, what my friends think the best for me. Even for the slightest moment back there, I felt that I broke your heart. I wished I did broke your heart, because then you would take me seriously back then. I am no more a knight.

If I did break your heart, I am sorry and I still truly love you.

If I did suffer you, I am sorry but I truly love you.

If I didn't tell you at all, I am sorry but I just want you to know that I still love you.

I am old enough to know it is love. And I know you are ready, no matter how young you are.

It seems that it's just my selfish cowardness for not being frank to you.

And no matter how many times I came back, I will still regret it, for I always have a chance to be freed from this anxiousness that kept me awake for the past several years,

I know the time will come when I can finally say I love you bravely, just like that knight.

To whom I may never be giving this letter to,



I stopped after the very end of the letter. It was well written with his messy, small handwritings, and he wrote my name at the end of it. My name, out of all other names.

I managed to climb a tree and he decided to wait down because it seemed that there no use of him trying to take the letter anyway. He could've taken it if he wanted to, because now is the perfect time for it.

I was still stunned with what I just read, and then I heard him inhaling. Exhaling.

"Are you done?"
I became silent. It's pretty normal if he got angry after what I did to his letter, reading it when it was supposed to be private. I felt silly for grabbing it in the first place.
"Yeah... Sorry," I murmured. I dropped the letter down and just hoping that he will left me alone. I didn't know why it suddenly became so quiet.

He suddenly climbed up and sat across me, on the other branch. I turned to the other direction, not wanting him to see my red face after reading such love letter, if it was.
"What do you think? Should I give it to her?" He said bluntly. I was silent. You were planning on giving this to the lucky Tama and asked to the poor Tama that also likes you very much whether to hand such lovely letter or not?

Snap, I said I liked him.

"I... I don't know. But I think it's very beautiful and personal, you should give it to her," I finally embraced myself to the previous me, the one who kept giving sill suggestions to him. The one who started this destruction.

He inhaled and exhaled again.
"Tama, I like you for a very, very, very, long time."
"Yeah, she will like that, too," I said, a bit shivering. Where's my mother when I needed to ask her about this?

There was a big pause between us. I was the one who encouraged him before. I was the one who told him to be truthful.
"...and I have loved you for a very, very, long time. Even when you... Professed your love to that very beautiful lady, even when you went somewhere far for college, even when I didn't even realized that I still love you, and even after seeing your letter to that lucky Tama... And I love you for taking veterinary because it made me think how fun it would be if I were to live my life with you. Or every summer coming here to enjoy the same scenery, the same memories..." I said it. I said all of it.

"So will you take the letter?"
"Of course I will! If I were that lucky Tama to get such letter from you, to get such attention from you, I'd be dying out of happiness to own that letter, to be the one whose name is on the very end of the letter..." I was out of breath. Still not looking at him.
Wait, wait, when he said take the letter...
I turned back and looked at his way. He was smiling, shy, and earnest.

"Out of the possibilities in this world, how many Tama do you think I know for my entire life?"


"Here. I had hard time writing it down because I don't know what to say, and I thought I will never be able to give it to you. But the. You just magically appeared, and I felt the urge to write this down." He handed me the letter that I have read brutally before. My hand was shaking band I started to weep.

"You broke my heart."
"I was a coward, I realized that."
"You thought I was a kid."
"My fault. I wasn't ready for rejection."
"But you yourself is a kid."
"I know that very well."

I looked back at him with teary eyes. No matter how I see it, it's like my first love coming back to me. His young, eager face still clinging to me, and now I can replace that with his new face, his new expression.

Mother, my first love is here again.


Aaaaand I woke up, it was a great, long dream.