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.*